TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan moved up two places to reach No. 19 in the latest edition of the Human Freedom Index published by the Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute Saturday (Dec. 19).
During the decade that the two think tanks have drawn up the list, Taiwan has turned into one of its strongest climbers, CNA reported. The Cato Institute is a libertarian organization based in Washington and founded by businessman Charles Koch, a prominent Republican Party backer, while the Fraser Institute is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
The latest version of the annual index measures personal, economic, and human freedoms in 162 countries and territories in 2018, using information for the most recent year that completed data is available for.
Taiwan was one of 87 countries that improved its rating compared to the previous year and moved up two places. Over the decade since the publication of the index started, Taiwan was one of the countries that improved the fastest, CNA reported.
The country received a maximum rating of 10 out of 10 for freedom of expression and information, freedom of movement, and freedom of identity and relationships, including same-sex relationships, even though the data were collected before same-sex marriage was legalized in May 2019.
Taiwan’s overall score went from a low of 7.83 for 2008 to a high of 8.42 in the new ranking for 2018. The date of the latest data might account for Hong Kong ending up at No. 3 on the global list, despite recent actions against student protesters and other opponents of China’s communist regime.
New Zealand is No. 1 on the Human Freedom Index, followed by Switzerland at No. 2. The only other Asian country ahead of Taiwan is Japan, which moved up six places to No. 11.