2016 Index of Economic Freedom


overall scoreN/A
world rank
Rule of Law

Property RightsN/A

Freedom From Corruption12.0

Limited Government

Government Spending81.2

Fiscal Freedom91.6

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom56.6

Labor Freedom63.2

Monetary FreedomN/A

Open Markets

Trade FreedomN/A

Investment Freedom55.0

Financial FreedomN/A

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 31.3 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $60.6 billion
    • 1.5% growth
    • 6.8% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,937 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 9.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 4.6%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $53.6 million
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Afghanistan’s economic freedom cannot be fully assessed because of the lack of reliable comparable data. The government’s compilations of official economic data are inadequate, and data on Afghanistan in many of the international sources relied upon for Index grading are incomplete. Afghanistan’s economic freedom will be ranked in future editions when more reliable information becomes available.

Economic Freedom Snapshot

  • 2016 Economic Freedom Score: Not Graded
  • Economic Freedom Status: Not Graded
  • Global Ranking: Not Ranked
  • Regional Ranking: Not Ranked in the Asia–Pacific Region
  • Notable Successes: N/A
  • Concerns: N/A
  • Overall Score Change Since 2012: N/A

Afghanistan’s overall economic environment is undermined by ongoing political and security challenges, and the inability to deliver basic services on a reliable basis has severely eroded confidence in the government. The economy is hobbled by insurgency and corruption. The agricultural sector depends heavily on cultivation of opium poppies.



Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai became president following an election marred by allegations of vote-rigging in 2014. After three months of political wrangling, Ghani and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah agreed to form a unity government. Ghani, who won the election according to Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission, shares power with Abdullah, who is chief executive officer. Ghani signed a Bilateral Security Agreement with the U.S. in September 2014, opening the way for a continued non-combat U.S. presence. Taliban insurgents continue to attack Afghan security forces and civilians. In October 2015, President Obama announced that the United States would keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan through the end of his term in 2017.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights N/A Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 12.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

The transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces and planned phasedown of international troops increase uncertainty as the government confronts high levels of corruption, heavy and persistent drug trafficking, weak institutional capacity, and a severely underdeveloped judicial system. Weak protection of property rights due to a lack of property registries or a land titling database leads to land title disputes.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top income and corporate tax rates are 20 percent. Driven by sales taxes, overall tax revenue equals about 7 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has moderated, but the government still relies heavily on foreign assistance. Two years of political and security uncertainty have resulted in reduced economic activity and the emergence of significant fiscal vulnerabilities.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Despite efforts to streamline the procedures for establishing a business, bureaucratic impediments to private-sector production and investment still hamper the overall regulatory environment. The labor market remains severely underdeveloped, with the 2009 labor law poorly implemented. Due to the severe underdevelopment of the financial system, the government has very limited influence on monetary policy.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Afghanistan’s customs system is complex, and importation of goods generally takes many weeks. With the exception of land ownership, foreign and domestic investors are treated the same under the law. The financial sector remains underdeveloped, and scarce access to financing hinders private-sector growth. Three state banks and over 15 commercial banks are in operation across the country, but trust in the banking system is weak.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Afghanistan Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Afghanistan to other economic country groups Download Charts

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Hong Kong88.6-1.0
3New Zealand81.6-0.5
7South Korea71.70.2
8Malaysia 71.50.7
10Brunei Darussalam67.3-1.6
11Thailand 63.91.5
17Sri Lanka59.91.3
19Kyrgyz Republic 59.6-1.7
26Pakistan 55.90.3
29Bangladesh 53.3-0.6
30Papua New Guinea53.20.1
37Solomon Islands470.0
42North Korea2.31.0
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