Though Americans pride themselves on living in the "land of the free and the home of the brave," per the Star-Spangled Banner, The Canadian Fraser Institute has some news for the United States: It's not tops in the world when it comes to freedom.
That's right; the Canadian think-tank ranks the U.S. just seventh in its ranking of most and least free countries for 2013. According to the National Post, the list was published as part of a book compiled by the Fraser Institute and Germany's Liberales Institut, Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom.
The Fraser Institute's website explains the publication's goal:
This project, sponsored by Canada’s Fraser Institute, Germany’s Liberales Institut, and the United States’ Cato Institute, focuses on creating the first comprehensive and conceptually consistent index of freedom, including economic freedom, and is based on the “negative” definition of freedom—in other words, the absence of barriers or coercion that prevent individuals from acting as they might wish.
According to the South China Morning Post, the index described personal freedom as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, discrimination against homosexuals and women's rights. Economic freedoms were understood to include property sovereignty and "individuals' engagement in voluntary transactions."
The metrics come from a composite score derived from data provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit, OECD and Freedom House, the National Post reports, with a 10 representing the highest score possible.
Africa and the Middle East didn't fare too well in the study, as the New Zealand Herald notes, with African or Middle Eastern countries making up eight of the bottom 10. Zimbabwe ranked dead last.
So who's No. 1? Probably not who you'd expect. Find out in the slideshow below:
No. 9 (Tie): Estonia
72-year old Estonian Siina Taal prepares Estonian blood sausage in Tallinn, Estonia, on December 15, 2012. (RAIGO PAJULA/AFP/Getty Images)
No. 9 (Tie): Japan
Little children walk with Japan's famous character Hello Kitty on a zebra crossing at downtown Tokyo,13 May 2003, for the spring traffic safety week campaign. (AFP/Getty Images)
No. 7 (Tie): Denmark
A woman rides a bike on her way to work in heavy snow in the Center of Copenhagen, Denmark, Wednesday morning Dec. 5, 2012, after the temperature throughout the night ranged between 10 and 12 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Joachim Adrian)
No. 7 (Tie): United States
Randy 'Beetle' Rowe, 36, of Taledo, Ohio, dressed in full Dale Earnhardt Jr. #8 red-colored regalia, poses with his 'beer bong' at the Nascar Nextel Cup Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 on October 29, 2005 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Georgia. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)
No. 4 (Tie): Ireland
An Irish Policeman wears shamrocks in his cap as he marches in the St Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin, Ireland on March 17, 2012. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)
No. 4 (Tie): Canada
Inuit hunter Pitseolak Alainga crawls out of an igloo which was constructed outside the Nunavut Legislature in Iqaluit, Canada, February 6, 2010. (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
No. 4 (Tie): Australia
A view of the Opera House and Sydney harbor as the heat of the day sets in on January 8, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
No. 3 (Tie): Hong Kong
A street photographer offers his services to tourists in Victoria Harbour, in front of the Hong Kong skyline on October 19, 2012. (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
No. 2: Netherlands
A man passes parked bicycles near Central Station in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday Oct. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
No. 1: New Zealand
A keeper holds in his hands two Kiwi chicks at the zoo on June 19, 2012 in Berlin. Female chick Tea (L) hatched three weeks ago, her still nameless brother is two weeks old. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GettyImages)
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