TALLINN - Estonia climbed to 11th place from 16th in this year's report on economic freedom by Canada's Fraser Institute, sharing the spot with neighboring Finland and the Netherlands with 7.7 points out of 10 and finishing in front of most older members of the European Union.
The survey, which is based on 2002 data, placed Germany and Sweden in 22nd place, along with Hungary.
Having overtaken Austria, Denmark and Iceland, Estonia came on the heels of Ireland and Luxembourg, which both scored 7.8 points.
Hong Kong retained the highest rating for economic freedom (8.7 points), closely followed by Singapore (8.6). New Zealand, Switzerland with the United Kingdom and United States tied for third (8.2).
The other top 10 nations were Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
Latvia was in 36th position (7 points) together with Italy, Japan and Jordan. Lithuania scored 6.8 points and tied for the 44th place with France, Malta, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay.
Russia was placed 114th.
The bottom five nations ranked were Venezuela, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.
The key ingredients of economic freedom examined in the survey were individual choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete and the protection of person and property.
The eighth edition of Economic Freedom of the World rates and ranks 123 nations, using 38 variables, for 2002, the most recent year for which data is available.