How to Measure a Country’s Freedom

Political Geography in GEO230 & GEO210
Political Geography in GEO230 & GEO210

Measuring freedom is a subjective science, but  Freedom House recently updated an interactive map ranking a country’s freedom based on political rights and civil liberties. Click on the “interactive map” hyperlink to see the map (shown below), revealing free countries in green and the not free countries in purple. Click on the United States to see that it has a Freedom Rating of 1 (Free), India earns a 2.5 (Free), Mexico scores a 3 (Partly Free), and Russia rates a 6 (Not Free).

freedom2015
Rating countries from Free to Not Free: Worst of the Worst

Freedom Can Change Over Time

This map also reveals freedom’s trend over time. Click on the arrow (below the map) to see how much the world has changed from 1995 to 2015. Click on the year 1995 to see the status of freedom for some 195 countries in that year. In 1995, the U.S. ranked 1 (same as 2015), but India and Mexico received a relatively poor 4, and Russia rated a better 3.5 freedom score. Measure the fleeting nature of freedom:

  1. Click on various countries, especially countries you are interested in, and name a country that seems to have increased in freedom since 1995.
  2. Name a country that has decreased in freedom, other than Russia, since 1995.
  3. For those taking Geo 210 or Geo 230, please add a short blog comment giving the names of countries that have lost or gained in freedom since 1995. You can also add a sentence on why there was a change in freedom.