- Most Free
- Least Free
- #5 Overall
- #12 Economic
- #6 Personal
- Change in overall freedom, 2007–2009:
- Change in overall freedom ranking since 2007:
- Net domestic migration, 2000–2009 (% of 2000 population):
- Governor, 2011:
- Jay Nixon (D)
- Legislature, 2011:
- House 106R/57D, Senate 26R/8D
Missouri was already a relatively free state but grew freer yet since the last index. Government spending is relatively low and even lower when the availability of federal grants is taken into account. Nonfuel, nonseverance taxes are just 8.8 percent of personal income, the 10th lowest in the land. The alcohol regime is one of the least restrictive in the United States, with no blue laws and taxes well below average. Gun control is very limited. Unfortunately, marijuana sentencing is extremely harsh; Missouri may have the worst cannabis laws in the country and jumped on the Salvia “ban wagon” early. Several types of gambling are legal and regulated, but oddly there is no social gambling exception. Other than recordkeeping requirements, private- and homeschools are almost unregulated. There are some limits on regulatory takings. Labor laws are generally market friendly, but implementing right-to-work laws and allowing workers’ compensation self-insurance would improve Missouri’s score here. A cable-franchise reform was recently enacted. Occupational licensing is less extensive than average. Eminent domain reform has been superficial. Cigarette taxes are low.
- Pass right-to-work laws and allow workers’ compensation self-insurance.
- Reform marijuana sentencing by making possession a misdemeanor and reducing the maximum possible sentence far below the current life in prison.
- Pass comprehensive eminent-domain reform that includes narrow criteria for blight designation.
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.