A new report ranks Illinois 37th in the country in terms of personal and economic freedoms.
The CATO Institute’s âFreedom in the 50 Statesâ report ranks the level of state freedom by comparing individual freedoms, tax policies and regulatory policies.
Illinois ranked 37th on this year’s list, up seven spots from the 2020 rankings. Author Jason Soren said the state’s tax burden was a factor.
âWe look at everything including taxes, government debt, government spending as well as business regulations like labor regulations and land regulations,â Soren said.
Illinois’ biggest leap over the past decade has been in the tax freedom category. The tax freedom ranking includes categories for taxes, public employment, spending, debt, and fiscal decentralization.
Illinois ranks 25th in tax freedom and has gained 19 places in this category since 2011, when it was ranked 44th.
The economic rankings are where Illinois suffered the biggest drop. The state currently ranks 35th on the list and has gone down the list for the past 20 years. In 2000, the state of Illinois ranked 13th in the country for economic freedoms. Illinois local taxes are among the highest in the country, at 5.1% of income according to the report.
Soren said these issues likely contributed to the state’s population decline.
âThis is probably why people are leaving Illinois,â Soren said. “They see these economic problems, they see that economic freedom has diminished and they see the increase in taxes.”
Illinois has shown steady improvement when looking at the personal freedom rankings, from 2000 to 2012, Illinois ranked 50th in the country in this category. Currently, Illinois is ranked 30th.
The state was able to make a big leap into this category largely thanks to federal court rulings that overturned some restrictions on gun rights, legalization of same-sex marriage, marijuana reform, and license availability. to drive for people without. Security numbers.
Illinois finished 37th on this year’s list and finished second to last among the Midwestern states.
The CATO Institute is a public policy think tank that advocates for individual freedom, limited government, free markets and peaceful international relations.