Which are the world's freest economies in a post-Covid world, and how much does one need to earn to be among the wealthy elite in these destinations?
Factors influencing scores on the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom cover fiscal health influenced by factors such as government spendings, tax burdens, monetary regulatory efficiency, property rights, trade and investment freedom.
Due to a high government revenue and zero foreign debt, stable Singapore ranks as the freest economy in the world, but it also takes a lot of money — US$627,111 to be in the top one percentile or US$193,352 to rank in the top 10%, according to a Yahoo report.
New Zealand and Australia follow in the top second and third positions — and are also the only three in APAC to fall under the 'truly free' category.
The annual pre-tax income needed to be 'rich' Down Under is a lot less stringent though, requiring half that of Singapore's at US$103,376.
In fact, Singapore even beats out the US, which requires US$506,752 to be considered among the top one percentile.
As the list goes down towards the 'mostly free' economies in APAC, so does the cash required to be in the top 10% bracket: US$89,643 for Japan and US$79,531 for South Korea.
APAC's two largest destinations, China and India, continue to rank in the category of the 'mostly unfree'. China, however, as one of the world's largest economies, still requires US$121,168 to snag the top 10% rich list, while pandemic-decimated India needs just US$14,077 — one of the lowest in the region.
Both Indonesia (US$30,544) and the Philippines (US$26,512) are slowly rising to be freer economies.
Globally, European nations continue to enjoy the highest economic freedoms with an average score of 70.1, higher than the APAC average (60.2) and world average (61.6).