The “land of the brave and home of the free” applies to the majority of the United States except for the Empire State, which has been named the “least free state,” according to a new study.

The report, conducted by the Cato Institute, showed that New York ranked last place among the 50 states for 2022 policies that impacted economic, social, and personal freedoms. 

New York ranked 50th for economic freedom and scored at or near the bottom for debt and state and local taxation, government consumption, land use and labor policy.

For comparison, Florida ranked second, topped by New Hampshire for most free state in America.

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Florida ranks high on the report year after year as the state does not impose an income tax on its residents. 

According to the report, wealthy residents in New York City pay among the highest combined state and local income taxes in the country.

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New York City

New York has also been “the least free state” in every version of the index and every year covered by the report since 2000.

Producers of the report recommend that New York policymakers can improve the Empire State by slashing spending and taxes, paying down debt and abolishing rent control laws.

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New York, New York (iStock)

Hawaii and California also finished close to the bottom with New York, coming in 49th and 48th place respectively. 

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