South Dakota Ranked Top-5 in “Freedom in the 50 States”

South Dakota Ranked Top-5 in “Freedom in the 50 States”

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, the CATO Institute announced that South Dakota is now ranked in the top-five states in their “Freedom in the 50 States” index. The index ranks South Dakota as the most-improved state in the nation when comparing 2018 to 2019, Governor Noem’s first year in office. The most recent edition, published in 2018, ranked South Dakota eighth. Governor Noem issued the following statement celebrating South Dakota’s success:

“South Dakota has freedom in abundance. In the few short years since I took office as governor, we’ve already propelled South Dakota from a top-10 freest state status to a top-five status. I believe that we respect freedom more than any state in America, but this ranking indicates that we have more work to do. I look forward to working with the legislature to advance policies that protect freedom, cut red tape, and promote continual growth for our state.”

The rankings are based on state laws as of January 1, 2020 and state budgets through FY 2020. Of note, this ranking did not take COVID-19 response into account. In the early months of the pandemic, Governor Noem was the only governor in America to never order a single business or church to close.

You can read the full report here.


18 thoughts on “South Dakota Ranked Top-5 in “Freedom in the 50 States””

  1. It would probably be number 1, except for what is a common theme for SD in ratings by conservative think tanks: “South Dakota’s criminal justice policies are excessively strict from our point of view. For its crime rate, it imprisons more than it should. Drug arrests are well above national norms.”

  2. Freedom.

    Should we be free to get abortions? Free to obtain assisted suicides? Free to spread disease to others when it can be easily prevented?

    I don’t consider those “freedom” issues. Why? Because the damage done far exceeds the liberty gained. IMO

    1. I’m not sure how you consider personal liberties damage. The “damage” isn’t yours to consider, each individual is responsible for their own life / body, and liberties; government only got into the game of regulating these to gain more revenue and take rights away from some that were given recent freedoms. Further, that is a prime reason we have so many issues and conflicts with police. Autocratic control is no better than Marxism, socialism, communism, or whatever “scare term” your news broadcaster is using today. Let people live their life, however they want, as long as it doesn’t affect you physically. This notion of fighting their choice for some eternal reward you believe you believe that YOU will receive is selfish and flawed.

      1. I believe abortions have an impact on both the woman and the young human being that is “terminated”. And, I would argue, on society as a whole.

        Of course you can spread Covid to others resulting in illness or death. It’s not a clearcut liberty issue.

        Assisted suicide is in a different category but to me it is still a deadly option that should not be encouraged. I think it is harder to argue the issue, however. I must admit.

  3. But, the site also says we’ve dropped one spot since 2016. Noem cherry picking stats as usual.

  4. This is a stupid poll, and not worth mentioning unless you, as Governor, are so desperate for some positive South Dakota news that you grab on to this worthless CATO study to show how much better SD is because you are here in the executive branch. Spin, spin, spin. Avoid the 86K mansion decorating story. Spin, Spin, Spin, avoid the story in which you commanded the BOR squelch diversity in the SD university network. Spin, spin, spin. Legislature not embracing yout efforts to get rid of Ravnsborg.

  5. Jeff that qualifies for the absolute most moronic thing I’ve read today. Winner!!!

    (Coming in now at 2nd place the dumb statement about my good friend Jake S. And his dad!)

  6. Kelo TV (Dec. 1): “The new deaths reported include 6 women and nine men in the following age ranges: 40-49 (1); 50-59 (5); 60-69 (3); 70-79 (4); 80+ (2)”

    “Freedom” does not have to look like this.

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