- Most Free
- Least Free
- #44 Overall
- #49 Economic
- #5 Personal
- Change in overall freedom, 2007–2009:
- Change in overall freedom ranking since 2007:
- Net domestic migration, 2000–2009 (% of 2000 population):
- Governor, 2011:
- Sean Parnell (R)
- Legislature, 2011:
- House 16D/24R, Senate 10R/10D
Alaska’s big problem is fiscal policy. Over a quarter of the state’s workforce is employed by state or local government, and that figure does not include federal employees. Alaska has the highest debt and government spending to personal income ratios in the country. However, Alaska does extremely well on personal freedom, scoring fifth on our ranking. Reasons for its score include fully legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana (accomplished through a court ruling), the least-restrictive gun laws in the country, strong asset-forfeiture protections, recognition of same-sex domestic partnerships, and possibly the best homeschooling laws in the country. On economic regulation, Alaska does poorly on labor law, occupational licensing, and eminent-domain reform but relatively well on health-insurance regulation.
- Cut spending on the areas of grossest overspending relative to national averages: public schools, highways and airports, corrections, administration (especially financial administration and public buildings), and “miscellaneous commercial activities.”
- Repeal the prevailing-wage law.
- Repeal some of the more unusual occupational licenses, such as child-care administrator, geoscientist, hydrologist, and massage therapist (some of these are implemented at the city level).
State Freedom Calculator
You know how free your state is today, but how free could it be in the future? Here are four policies from each area of the index--fiscal, regulatory, and paternalist--that allow you to play policy maker. Select from the options below and observe as your state's rankings in economic, personal, and overall freedom will be recalculated in real time and your state's ranking will rise or fall depending on your choices.