ALEXANDRIA— A new report on freedom in the 50 states finds that while Virginia is open for business, the commonwealth is among the more restrictive areas of the country when it comes to personal liberty.
Whether the dichotomy is reflective of the Old Dominion's divergent political identity, or even a factor in its future growth, has become a subject of debate.
The biennial report, authored by professors William Ruger and Jason Sorens and published by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, analyzes a wide spectrum of issues affected by state government and calculates how those policies inhibit or promote freedom on both economic and personal levels from state to state.
Virginia, overall, ranked as the eighth most free state in the nation, maintaining the same rank from Mercatus' previous report in 2011. Economically, the Old Dominion was also among the highest, ranking sixth, but that was contrasted by a 38th-place finish in personal freedom, which was unmoved from the previous report.