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Human Freedom Index 2020

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Human Freedom Index 2020:


The Human Freedom Index 2020, a worldwide ranking of civil, economic and personal freedom, was released recently.

  • The index was published by American think tank Cato Institute and Fraser Institute in Canada.
  • It takes into account 76 indicators of personal, civil, and economic freedoms to rank 162 countries from 2008 to 2018.

India’s performance:

  • It placed India at the 111th spot out of 162 countries.
  • India ranked 94 on the index in 2019.
  • India is ahead of China and Bangladesh, which ranked 129 and 139 on the 2020 index respectively.

Global Performances:

  • New Zealand, Switzerland and Hong Kong bagged the first three spots.
  • However, Hong Kong’s rank is expected to decline in the future, because of China’s “aggressive interventions” in the region in 2019 and 2020.
  • War-torn Syria ranked the last on the list.
  • The world has seen a notable decline in personal freedom since 2008.
  • The report continues to find a strong, positive relationship between freedom and prosperity, but also finds that here is an unequal distribution of freedom in the world.

India’s performances in various other indices:

India has dropped on several global freedom indexes.

  1. Democracy watchdog Freedom House’s report in October showed that internet freedom in India declined for a third straight year in 2019-’20.
  2. The Global Economic Freedom Index 2020 released in September showed India drop 26 spots from 79 to 105.
  3. The World Press Freedom Index, which was released in April, saw India slip two places. India ranked 142 on the index comprising of 180 countries and territories.


Prelims Link:

Overview of the following indices and India’s performance in them:

  1. Human Freedom Index 2020.
  2. Global Economic Freedom Index 2020.
  3. The World Press Freedom Index.
  4. Human Development Index.

Mains Link:

Analyse India’s performance in the latest Human Freedom Index 2020.

Sources: the Hindu.