- Most Free
- Least Free
- #6 Overall
- #16 Economic
- #3 Personal
- Change in overall freedom, 2007–2009:
- Change in overall freedom ranking since 2007:
- Net domestic migration, 2000–2009 (% of 2000 population):
- Governor, 2011:
- Brian Sandoval (R)
- Legislature, 2011:
- House 16R/26D, Senate 10R/11D
Nevada has a reputation as a libertarian state, mostly because of legal prostitution and gambling but reality is only beginning to catch up to perception. Nevada starts out with the obvious advantages of the most liberal gaming regime in the country (but an Internet-gaming ban) and local-option prostitution. On fiscal policy the state is better than average, but in less visible ways, since spending and taxation are only slightly better than average. Debt is rising, but the state is more than two standard deviations better than average on fiscal decentralization and almost two standard deviations better than average on government employment. Gun and alcohol laws are fairly relaxed, and marijuana laws are better than average, except for the possibility of life imprisonment. The state imposes the strictest private-school regulations in the country: mandatory state approval of all schools, mandatory state licensure of all teachers, and detailed curriculum control. Homeschool laws are far less restrictive and have been further liberalized recently. The state recently enacted a minimum wage. Smoking bans are complete in restaurants and workplaces, but bars are partially exempted. Health-insurance coverage mandates are more than a standard deviation worse than average. Telecom and cable were recently deregulated and a significant eminent-domain reform enacted. Samesex civil unions were passed in 2008.
- Repeal health-insurance coverage mandates such as coverage for TMJ treatment, prostate screening, mammograms, the HPV vaccine, hospice care, home health care, dental anesthesia, and seeing social workers, opticians, and osteopaths.
- Deregulate private schools.
- Allow the minimum wage to revert to the federal standard.
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.