Americans' assessments of their personal freedom have significantly declined under President Obama, according to a new study from the Legatum Institute in London, and the United States now ranks below 20 other countries on this measure.
The research shows that citizens of countries including France, Uruguay, and Costa Rica now feel that they enjoy more personal freedom than Americans.
As the Washington Examiner reported this morning
, representatives of the Legatum Institute are in the U.S. this week to promote the sixth edition of their Prosperity Index
. The index aims to measure aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements don't include, such as entrepreneurship and opportunity, education, and social capital.
The freedom scores are based on polling data from 2013 indicating citizens' satisfaction with their nation's handling of civil liberties, freedom of choice, tolerance of ethnic minorities, and tolerance of immigrants. Polling data were provided by Gallup World Poll Service. The index is notable for the way it measures how free people feel, unlike other freedom indices that measure freedom by comparing government policies.
"This is not a good report for Obama," Legatum Institute spokeswoman Cristina Odone told the Washington Examiner.
In the 2010 report (which relied on data gathered in 2009), the U.S. was ranked ninth in personal freedom, but that ranking has since fallen to 21st, with several countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom passing the U.S.