Press Releases

New Ranking Scores Utah’s Cities on Individual Liberty, Private Property, Free Market

Salt Lake City, UT (December 2, 2015) — Libertas Institute announced today the results of a new, unique research project—the first of its kind in the country. The “Freest Cities Index” analyzes Utah’s top 50 most populous cities on over 100 metrics dealing with city laws and fees to analyze in which city Utahns will enjoy the most freedom.

Freest City: Heber City
Least Free City: Salt Lake City

The Freest Cities Index uses statistical weighting and calculation to compute a relative score to determine each city’s ranking. Broken into three categories—individual liberty, private property rights, and free markets—the Index includes metrics such as: free speech, gun regulations, alcohol sales, city debt, business permit fees, sales taxes, city-owned enterprises, and many more.

Libertas Institute has placed two billboards in the winning and losing cities. The Salt Lake City billboard is located one block east of City Hall — along 400 South, between 200 and 300 East.

High quality photos can be downloaded at this link. Permission is granted for publication/broadcast use.

“Our report contains a treasure trove of data on cities,” said Josh Daniels, a policy analyst at Libertas Institute who oversaw the research team for the project. “In two minutes, Utahns can quickly get up to speed on how their city performs on a wide range of issues, relative to other cities. Nothing like this has ever been done, and we’re thrilled to provide this service to our fellow Utahns.”

“City governments throughout the state are in sore need of transparency and accountability,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “We routinely hear from Utahns who are frustrated with their city yet lack the knowledge or time to investigate the issues that matter. This Index provides a huge leap forward in both educating and empowering individuals throughout Utah to make a positive change in their community.”

The “2015 Freest City” award was presented to the Heber City Council on November 19, 2015. Click below for a photo:

High quality photos can be downloaded at this link. Permission is granted for publication/broadcast use.

Full results, including the detailed data spreadsheets, can be found at