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Alabama was ranked 22nd among North American states and provinces for its overall economic freedom ranking, according to the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of North America 2022 report released Tuesday.

Alabama finished behind other Southern states like Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana with a score of 6.41. According to the report, Alabama finished ahead of other Southern States like Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and South Carolina.

The index's most recent data is from fiscal year 2020, so the index doesn't capture a full year of the effect on economic freedom of COVID-19 and government responses to it, according to the report. Other more recent policy changes in 2021 and 2022 aren't reflected in the index's results.

"In the United States, the most economically free state was Florida at 7.94, followed by New Hampshire at 7.84, South Dakota at 7.75, and Texas and Tennessee at 7.66," the report states. "... The least-free state was again New York at 4.25, following California at 4.59, Hawaii at 4.65, Vermont at 4.70, and Oregon at 4.92."

The Fraser Institute's index ranks provincial/state governments in Canada, the United States, and Mexico by their policies related to government spending, taxes, and regulation. Alabama finished 28th overall in the index in 2021.

According to a separate study by the Tax Foundation's 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index released last month, Alabama has the worst tax climate for businesses in the southeastern United States. It is ranked 41st nationwide for its business tax climate, dropping two spots since last year.

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