In its fifth annual edition, the Human Freedom Index placed Switzerland in the second place behind the top-scorer New Zealand.
Five other European countries are in the top 10: Denmark and Luxembourg tied in 6th place, Finland and Germany tied in 8th place, and Ireland is in the 10th.
The Index, conducted by the American think tank Cato Institute, along with four international institutions, “presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint”, its authors said.
It surveyed 162 nations using 76 distinct indicators, including rule of law, safety and security, expression and information, and legal system.
Switzerland received high marks in all the categories.
The common thread among the top-rated countries is a high average per-capita income, as well as “strong relationship between human freedom and democracy”, according to the report.
Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Iceland and the UK placed in the 11th through the 18th positions, while France lagged in the 33rd place.
Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Venezuela, and Syria were the lowest-ranked nations in the Index.
Switzerland often tops global rankings in categories ranging from quality of life and standard of living to competitiveness and safety.