The Cato Institute published the 2018 edition of the biennial Freedom In The 50 States index. It presents a ranking of American states based on how their policies promote freedom in fiscal, regulatory, and personal fields. The authors Jason Sorens and William P. Ruger have collected data on more than 230 variables to measure and evaluate freedom in all 50 states. 

This year, New Hampshire is the most improved state, and currently ranks as the second freest state in the country. New Hampshire’s improvements are primarily driven by reforms on Civil Asset Forfeiture and expansion of medical marijuana freedom.

The state’s share of taxes has fallen from 3.7% in 2000 to an estimated 3% today and it also remains one of the best states in the country for gun rights. 

The top five free states are: 

1. Florida 
2. New Hampshire
3. Indiana
4. Colorado
5. Nevada

The least free states are: 

45. Maryland
46. Vermont
47. New Jersey
48. California
49. Hawaii
50. New York

See the full report here