Do you live in one of the most free states? How about the safest?
#10 North Dakota
Courtesy of U.S. Army via Flikr
Economic freedom: #3
Personal freedom: #36
North Dakota has very low government spending, debt, and taxation levels. It has a rare type of workers'-compensation policy, with all private insurance banned and a state fund that employers must contribute to. The state has limited gun control and motorist laws, but heavily regulates private schools.
Economic freedom: #5
Personal freedom: #23
Virginia is the freest state below the Mason-Dixon line. Government spending, debt, and tax rates are all significantly lower than national averages. It has lax smoking laws and both the natural gas and cable industries have been deregulated. However, the state's health insurance coverage mandates are high.
Economic freedom: #24
Personal freedom: #1
Oregon boasts the highest personal freedom ranking in the country. It allows physician-assisted suicide and same-sex civil unions, prohibits sobriety checkpoints, and has lenient marijuana possession laws. Its economic ranking is hurt by the state's high level of government spending and debt.
Economic freedom: #10
Personal freedom: #8
Although Colorado is the most fiscally decentralized state in the country, the government is wallowing in debt. It lightly regulates schools and has low tax rates for alcohol and cigarettes, but has extremely harsh smoking bans in place.
Economic freedom: #16
Personal freedom: #3
Nevada has local-option prostitution and the most lenient gambling laws in the country. Spending and taxation are slightly better than average, but government debt is rising. The state also has the tightest private school restrictions in the nation, with curriculum control and mandatory state licensing for all teachers.
Economic freedom: #12
Personal freedom: #6
Missouri has low government spending and taxes. Although it has some of the least restrictive gun control and alcohol laws, Missouri has the harshest marijuana sentencing laws in the country. Private and home schools are almost entirely unregulated.
Economic freedom: #4
Personal freedom: #9
Idaho has the second-lowest government-debt ratio in the country, along with lower-than-average taxes and spending. It has very few laws constricting motorists, and is one of the few states in the country that prohibits random sobriety checkpoints. The state also has some of the mildest gun laws and education regulations in the nation.
Economic freedom: #13
Personal freedom: #3
Indiana licenses the fewest occupations in the country (as a percentage of the total state workforce), and has deregulated the telecommunications, cable, and natural gas industries. The state has light regulation for schools and little campaign finance regulation, but has smoking bans across the board.
#2 South Dakota
Economic freedom: #1
Personal freedom: #34
The most free state in the country in terms of economic freedom, South Dakota has a high level of fiscal decentralization, very low tax rates, and low spending. Its relatively low personal freedom ranking is due to high cigarette taxation and smoking bans, and harsher-than-average laws relating to marijuana, gambling, and asset forfeiture.
#1 New Hampshire
Economic freedom: #2
Personal freedom: #11
It's the only state in the country that lacks a seatbelt law for adults, and it has lax gun laws. Taxes and government spending are both below average rates, and government debt has actually decreased since the Democrats took unified control in 2007.