15 Most Liberal Countries in the World

By PropertyClub Team
May 16th 2024
In a world where political tensions run high, and ideologies clash, the yearning for individual liberty and social progress remains a constant undercurrent. But which countries champion liberal values like individual rights, economic freedom, and social equality? Read one as we explore the fifteen most liberal countries in the world.

hash-markMost Liberal Countries in the World

  1. Norway
  2. Sweden
  3. Canada
  4. Denmark
  5. Netherlands
  6. Finland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Iceland
  9. Australia
  10. Switzerland
  11. Germany
  12. Austria
  13. Luxembourg
  14. Belgium
  15. United Kingdom

hash-mark1. Norway

Norway, located in the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula, is known as the most liberal country globally. With a liberal democracy index of 0.857, it places a strong emphasis on social welfare and maintains an inclusive societal structure. This Nordic nation stands out for its commitment to providing equal opportunities and fostering a society that values the well-being of its citizens.

hash-mark2. Sweden

Sweden, a country in northern Europe, has embraced liberalism since the 19th century, with influential figures like Anders Chydenius championing liberal ideals. The nation has a strong commitment to liberal democracy, reflected in its high liberal democracy index of 0.878. 

Furthermore, Sweden has a commendable history of safeguarding progressive legislation related to gender equality and LGBT rights, demonstrating a dedication to fostering an inclusive and equal society.

hash-mark3. Canada

Canada, known for its vast landscapes and friendly people, has embraced liberalism in its politics since the late 18th century. This means that the country values individual freedoms and democratic principles. 

With a liberal democracy index of 0.76, Canada is recognized for its commitment to upholding these values. Additionally, it stands out as the most LGBT-friendly nation globally, fostering an inclusive and accepting environment for the LGBTQ+ community. 

hash-mark4. Denmark

Denmark, a country in Northern Europe, embraced liberalism as a powerful influence in 1840. With a high liberal democracy index of 0.877, Denmark stands out for its commitment to democratic values. Notably, it holds the top rank globally for its efforts in fighting climate change.

hash-mark5. Netherlands

The Netherlands, known for its tulip fields and windmills, has a history rooted in a long liberal political tradition. It is recognized for having some of the most progressive LGBTIQA+ rights legislation globally, highlighting its commitment to inclusivity and equality. 

The country also boasts a liberal democracy index of 0.81, reflecting its strong adherence to democratic values and principles.

hash-mark6. Finland

Finland, a country in Northern Europe, has been influenced by liberalism since 1894. It strongly embraces liberal values, reflected in its high score of 0.83 on the liberal democracy index scale. Additionally, Finland boasts the lowest child mortality rate in the world, highlighting its commitment to the well-being of its youngest citizens. 

hash-mark7. New Zealand

Since the 1970s, New Zealand has embraced a socially liberal perspective. The country ranks high on the human freedom index, scoring an impressive 9.01, reflecting its commitment to individual liberties. 

New Zealand boasts the sixth-best air quality globally, highlighting its dedication to environmental well-being. With a liberal democracy index of 0.84, the nation emphasizes democratic values and principles in its governance.

hash-mark8. Iceland

Iceland, a Nordic island nation, boasts a quite good social state and welfare system, ensuring the well-being of its citizens. With a liberal democracy index rating of 0.75, Iceland embraces democratic values and principles. 

The economy follows a quite liberal approach, fostering a business-friendly environment. The Human Freedom Index stands impressively at 8.77, reflecting the country's commitment to individual liberties and human rights. 

hash-mark9. Australia

Australia, known for its unique wildlife and vast landscapes, has a stable liberal democratic political system governed by its Constitution, making it the world's tenth oldest democracy. With a liberal democracy index of 0.81, Australia values individual freedoms and citizen participation in decision-making. Additionally, the country takes pride in offering the second-best access to higher education.

hash-mark10. Switzerland

Switzerland, a beautiful country nestled in the heart of Europe, boasts an impressive standing on global indices. In terms of the Social Progress Index, it holds the fifth spot, reflecting its commitment to societal well-being. 

Moreover, Switzerland takes pride in its high human freedom index, scoring 9.1. With a liberal democracy index of 0.84, the nation emphasizes democratic principles and governance. 

hash-mark11. Germany

Germany has strongly embraced democracy and human rights since the end of World War II. With a liberal democracy index of 0.82, Germany is recognized for its commitment to democratic values. The nation ensures a high standard of basic medical care for its citizens, reflecting a dedication to the well-being of its people.

hash-mark12. Austria

Austria embraces a harmonious mix of tradition and modernity, evident in its liberal policies. The country takes pride in its commitment to human rights, boasting strong social welfare programs that contribute to a sense of well-being for its citizens. 

Additionally, Austria's cultural scene flourishes, adding vibrancy to its identity. With a liberal democracy index of 0.74, Austria stands as a testament to the successful fusion of time-honored values and contemporary ideals.

hash-mark13. Luxembourg

Luxembourg may be small in size, but its dedication to liberalism is noteworthy. With a commendable 0.8 liberal democracy index rating, the country reflects a commitment to democratic values. Luxembourg's robust economy, coupled with well-designed social programs, underscores its efforts to ensure the well-being of its citizens. 

hash-mark14. Belgium

Belgium, independent from the Netherlands, has been strongly influenced by liberalism since its early days. The country embraces diversity, evident in its bilingual and multicultural character. Belgium's commitment to fostering different cultures and languages is reflected in its liberal democracy index of 0.82, indicating a dedication to values such as freedom and inclusivity.

hash-mark15. United Kingdom

In recent times, the UK has become one of the most socially liberal nations globally, with a liberal democracy index of 0.78. Significant changes in people's views have taken place, especially on topics like homosexuality. 

Currently, only Sweden, Norway, and Germany surpass the UK in their acceptance of homosexuality, marking a notable shift in societal attitudes.

hash-markWhat Makes a Country Liberal?

Liberalism is a political and social philosophy that emphasizes individual rights, democracy, equality, and the rule of law. It promotes the protection of civil liberties, free markets, and the idea that government should be limited to safeguard personal freedoms and promote social progress.

hash-markMost Liberal Countries in the World Bottom Line 

To determine the most liberal countries in the world we considered various factors including political freedom, economic openness, social equality, and individual rights. Interestingly, many of the most liberal countries are located in Europe, which is the most liberal continent in the world.

If you're thinking about moving to a more liberal country, it's important to research individual countries for a deeper understanding of their unique values and societal structures.