New Zealanders have the most freedom in the world, according to an international index that ranks 123 countries.
The report, which was released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading public policy think-tank, and Germany's Liberales Institut, examines the characteristics of freedom and how it can best be measured and compared between different nations.
New Zealand was ranked number one for offering the highest level of freedom worldwide, followed by the Netherlands then Hong Kong.
Australia, Canada and Ireland tied for fourth spot, with the United States and Denmark tied for seventh.
The lowest-ranked countries were Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria.
The index was featured in the first publication of the Human Freedom project - Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom.
The author of the book, Fred McMahon, said: "Our intention is to measure the degree to which people are free to enjoy classic civil liberties-freedom of speech, religion, individual economic choice, and association and assembly-in each country surveyed."
"We also look at indicators of crime and violence, freedom of movement, legal discrimination against homosexuals, and women's freedoms," he said.