Canada Ranks 10th on Freedom in the World 2024 Report

Key Points

• Canada ranks 10th on the annual Freedom in the World 2024 Report, among the highest of the world’s top oil and natural gas exporters

• A majority of the world’s population lives in countries that are not fully “free,” while freedom worldwide has been dropping for nearly two decades

• Free countries are typically much better places to invest and conduct business by all measures


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Canada isn’t a stranger to ranking at the top of the list on social, environmental and governmental indexes, and the latest version of the Freedom in the World by Freedom House is no exception.

Placing 10th out of 210 countries and territories, Canada received nearly top marks for political rights (39/40) and civil liberties (58/60) for a total score of 97/100 on the Freedom in the World 2024 report.

According to the author, only 20% of the world’s population lives in countries considered “free,” while a large majority of people live in “partly free” (42%) or “not free” (38%) jurisdictions. The watchdog group also found that global freedom had dropped for 18 consecutive years in 2023 and that political rights and civil liberties deteriorated in 52 countries, home to approximately one-fifth of the world’s population.

Below are the top 15 countries on the Freedom in the World 2024 Report, plus more on why this matters in a global context. Also see:

Top 15 Countries on Freedom in the World 2024

  1. Finland – 100
  2. Sweden – 99
  3. New Zealand – 99
  4. Norway – 98
  5. Ireland – 97
  6. San Marino – 97
  7. Luxembourg – 97
  8. Denmark – 97
  9. Netherland – 97
  10. Canada – 97
  11. Japan – 96
  12. Belgium – 96
  13. Switzerland – 96
  14. Uruguay – 96
  15. Slovenia - 96

Note: numbers represent the total score out of 100 on Freedom in the World 2024 Report, Note 2: rankings taken from “Countries and Territories” list order

Report Highlights

• Global freedom declined for the 18th consecutive year in 2023; political rights and civil liberties dropped in 52 countries, while only 21 saw improvements

• Widespread problems with elections, including violence and manipulation, drove deterioration in rights and freedoms

• Armed conflicts and threats of authoritarian aggression made the world less safe and less democratic

• The denial of political rights and civil liberties in disputed territories dragged down freedom in the associated countries, including some democracies

• Pluralism – the peaceful coexistence of people with different political ideas, religions, or ethnic identities – is under attack but remains a source of strength for all societies

How Does Canada Stack Up to Other Oil & Gas Exporters?

Apart from Norway (4) and Australia (18), Canada is the only other major oil and/or natural gas exporter listed as one of the top 50 “freest” countries on the planet.

The United States, for example, ranks in the 50s with a score of 83/100 and is considered “free.” On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Qatar are “not free,” and all rank at the bottom of the list with scores of 8/100, 13/100, and 20/100, respectively.

It doesn’t stop there. Other major energy producers/exporters that do not fare well on this year’s Freedom in the World report include:

  • China (9/100, not free)
  • Iran (11/100, not free)
  • Kazakhstan (23/100, not free)
  • Oman (24/100, not free)
  • Angola (28/100, not free)
  • Iraq (30/100, not free)
  • Algeria (32/100, not free)
  • Kuwait (38/100, partly free)
  • Nigeria (44/100, partly free)

Why Freedom in the World Matters

Concerning resource supply chains, the measure of how “free” a trade partner is becomes crucial for stability, reliability, prosperity and the environment.

Corruption

For example, “free” countries like Canada typically have more transparent and accountable governance structures. These frameworks ensure natural resources are managed and developed in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, promoting long-term trade stability and global welfare.

In contrast, countries classified as "not free" often lack the checks and balances that prevent over-exploitation and mismanagement of natural resources, leading to environmental degradation and inefficiencies in resource allocation. In many instances, “not free” countries are ridden with corrupt officials, resulting in the irresponsible governance of such resources.

Human Rights

“Free” countries generally uphold much higher labour standards and worker rights, ensuring that the labourers behind the extraction and production of natural resources like energy, minerals, metals, food, lumber, oil, and natural gas are treated fairly.

This ethical consideration stands in stark contrast to "not free" countries, where labour abuses including child labour, forced labour, and unsafe working conditions are more likely to occur due to the lack of freedom of association and inadequate legal protections.

Sustainability

“Free” nations often have more advanced technological capabilities and innovation ecosystems, driven by open societies that foster education, research, and transparency. Such advancement leads to more efficient and sustainable natural resource production while reducing waste and environmental impacts.

Conversely, "not free" countries may lag in technological innovation due to restricted information flow, less R&D investment, and limited personal freedoms, leading to less efficient and more environmentally harmful extraction/production practices.

Reliability

“Free” countries with access to global markets and are compliant with international regulations tend to engage in fairer, more reliable trade practices. This reliability makes them stable partners in global supply chains for natural resources.

On the other hand, "not free" countries might use resource trade as a geopolitical tool, leading to instability in global markets and potentially leveraging natural resources for political gains rather than mutual economic benefit.

Rule of Law

The political stability and rule of law typically found in “free” countries contribute to a more predictable and secure business environment for natural resource investments. This stability usually attracts both domestic and foreign investors, which fuels further development and ensures a steady supply of resources on the global stage.

"Not free" countries, plagued by corruption and political instability, often deter investment, leading to underdevelopment of their natural resource sectors and a less reliable supply of resources to the world.

For all the reasons above, it is clear that "free" countries are the better choice for natural resources. Where would you choose to buy your energy, minerals, metals, lumber, and food from?

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The Freedom in the World 2024 Report underscores the significance of political freedom in the management and distribution of natural resources. Free countries, like Canada, ensure sustainable and ethical practices in resource production and contribute to global stability and development through more efficient, innovative, and fair-trade practices than their "not free" counterparts.

Join us today to learn more about why it matters where the world gets its natural resources from, and why Canada should be a go-to supplier for all of the above.

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