Delaware ranks 17th in freedoms study

A new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University finds Delaware's freedoms make the First State a good place to live.

WDEL's Amy Cherry explains.

Delaware ranks 17th when it comes to personal and economic freedoms.

"Delaware does especially well on regulatory policy, which it is second in the nation," says professor Jason Sorens, who authored the study.

Sorens says Delaware's legal system is also among the best in the country. He tells WDEL that's why you see so many overseas companies incorporating here. But that's not all that went into Delaware's rankings: personal freedoms that tend to be associated with the right and the left are a factor too, and Delaware falls fairly in the middle.

"On gun laws, for instance, Delaware is about average, nationally. On marijuana, Delaware has legal medical marijuana, and that improves its score; however, Delaware is one of only five states that completely bans fireworks, even sparklers. It's a small thing, but it matters to some people," says Sorens.

Delaware ranked 26th just two years ago when this same study was conducted. Since then, Delaware has legalized civil unions, adding to the list of personal freedoms enjoyed by Delawareans. A bill to recognize same-sex marriage is working its way through the General Assembly currently as well.

Sorens says to improve its ranking further, Delaware could deregulate the insurance industry a bit.

To read more on Delaware's rankings and to see the full studyclick here

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