There is an expansive new study that takes a look at personal freedom in America. It includes a wide variety of life issues and how they affect an individuals ability to be...free. Based on their data, Missouri is much more free than Illinois.

I first saw this featured by Reason. It's a study called Freedom in the 50 States - An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom by the Cato Institute. It's an eye-opener. They've provided a helpful map so you can see for yourself.

How did they come up with this ranking? Here's the methodology they shared:

Authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens introduce many new policy variables suggested by readers and changes in the broader policy environment (for example, vaping regulations). More than 230 policy variables and their sources remain available to the public on this website.

Illinois is ranked at #37 and Missouri is #11, but why? Illinois gets knocked for fiscal issues with the government. They praise Missouri for being "one of the freer states", but warn that regulation threatens to knock it to the middle of the pack.

Since I tend to be skeptical of motives by organizations that do lists like this, I would encourage you to download their data if you're really interested and see how they came to their conclusions.

In my experience, people measure freedom in different ways. It's up to you to decide if their definition of freedom is the same as yours.

Jesse James Farm in Kearney, Missouri

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