Economic Freedom Index Analysis

Hong Kong is ranked 1st in Economic Freedom but has the 76th ranked women’s national team. The data showed essentially zero correlation between the two (
While the USWNT is ranked 1st in the world and the US ranks 12th for economic freedom, these two factors were not found to be significantly correlated (

The Economic Freedom Index, published by the Heritage Foundation, evaluates a country’s economic freedom based on four different categories: Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness), Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health), Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom), and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).  The study attempts to quantify the ability of citizens in each country to control their property and labor outcomes. Scores on all of the different factors are combined into a composite score that quantifies each countries overall level of economic freedom.

The potential link between economic freedom and women’s soccer success is less well defined than some of the previous factors.  However, in a country where citizens have greater control over their labor and financial outcomes, it could be the case that more people are free and able to pursue careers as athletes.  It should also be noted that high economic freedom scores are often highly correlated with GDP Per Capita, as well as other factors such as social progress and democratic governance.

The correlation between the Economic Freedom Index and women’s soccer rankings showed basically no correlation.  The t-value was -0.22 and the p-value was .824.  So while the correlation was negative, it was not significant and the two variables were essentially completely independent of one another.  There is no statistical link between economic freedom and women’s soccer success.

It is interesting to note that some of the top ranking countries have strong women’s soccer teams, with Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom (England is the third ranked women’s soccer team) all ranking in the top 10 of both.  However other high ranking countries such as Hong Kong (1), Singapore (2) and the United Arab Emirates (9) all have very weak women’s soccer teams. It is significant to note that economic freedom has no influence on the success of a nation’s women’s soccer team and can be ignored when considering the factors that are important in development of a strong women’s national team.


“2019 Index of Economic Freedom.”, The Heritage Foundation, 2019, Accessed 20 Apr. 2019.

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