2022 Index of Economic Freedom

Uzbekistan

OVERALL SCORE55.7
WORLD RANK117
Rule of Law

Property Rights31.6

Judicial Effectiveness13.1

Government Integrity23.8

Government Size

Tax Burden90.8

Government Spending78.1

Fiscal Health96.6

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom59.1

Labor Freedom48.0

Monetary Freedom61.6

Open Markets

Trade Freedom75.6

Investment Freedom50.0

Financial Freedom40.0

Create a Comparison Chart

See how Uzbekistan compares to another country using any of the measures in the Index.

vs
Close
Download PDF
Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 34.2 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $252.6 billion
    • 1.6% growth
    • 4.7% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $7,449 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 6.0%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 12.9%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $1.7 billion

Uzbekistan’s economic freedom score is 55.7, making its economy the 117th freest in the 2022 Index. Uzbekistan is ranked 25th among 39 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages.

The Uzbekistani economy has grown strongly over the past five years except for 2020 when growth, although still positive, was lackluster. Economic freedom has advanced during the same period. With large increases in scores for investment freedom and financial freedom outpacing declines in scores for rule of law, Uzbekistan has recorded a 3.4-point overall gain in economic freedom since 2017 and is in the middle ranks of the “Mostly Unfree” countries. Fiscal health is robust, but government integrity and judicial effectiveness exhibit weaknesses.

IMPACT OF COVID-19: As of December 1, 2021, 1,406 deaths had been attributed to the pandemic in Uzbekistan, and the government’s response to the crisis ranked 140th among the countries included in this Index in terms of its stringency. The economy grew by just 1.6 percent in 2020.

Close

Background

Measured by population, Uzbekistan is the largest nation in Central Asia. Islam Karimov’s iron-fisted rule lasted from the late 1980s until his death in 2016. Current President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has demonstrated some willingness to reform. He was reelected by a landslide in October 2021 in an election of questionable integrity. The country is dry and landlocked. Approximately 9 percent of the land is cultivated in irrigated river valleys. More than 50 percent of the population now lives in urbanized areas. Uzbekistan is the world’s fifth-largest exporter and seventh-largest producer of cotton, but unsound cultivation practices have degraded the land and depleted water supplies. The economy also relies on exports of natural gas and gold.

Rule of Law

Property Rights 31.6 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 13.1 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 23.8 Create a Graph using this measurement

All agricultural land is owned by the state, but nonagricultural plots may be privatized. Although ownership of real property is generally respected, enforcement of property rights is tenuous because of widespread corruption. The judicial system is independent, but government interference and corruption are common. Graft and bribery are common in the bureaucracy.

Government Size

The top individual income tax rate is 22 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 7.5 percent. Other taxes include value-added and property taxes. The overall tax burden equals 19.6 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 27.0 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 0.6 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 37.9 percent of GDP.

Regulatory Efficiency

An Anti-Corruption Agency has been established to inspect governmental bodies and legal entities. The Law on Employment of the Population establishes previously undeclared legal rights of the self-employed and the unemployed. Prices of most goods and services including key food items (flour and bread) and fuel have been liberalized since 2017. Utility tariffs have been raised but remain regulated and below cost recovery.

Open Markets

Uzbekistan has four preferential trade agreements in force. The simple average tariff rate is 4.7 percent, and layers of nontariff barriers further impede trade. Uzbekistan is not a member of the World Trade Organization. Measures to enhance the overall investment regime including approval for the privatization of state-owned enterprises have been adopted. The financial sector has undergone modernization, but state-owned banks remain dominant.

Country's Score Over Time

View Chart of Scores over Time

Regional Ranking

RANK COUNTRY OVERALL CHANGE
1Singapore84.4-5.3
2New Zealand80.6-3.3
3Taiwan80.11.5
4Australia77.7-4.7
5South Korea74.60.6
6Japan69.9-4.2
7Samoa68.36.4
8Malaysia68.1-6.3
9Brunei Darussalam64.8-1.8
10Indonesia64.4-2.5
11Kazakhstan64.4-6.7
12Mongolia63.91.5
13Thailand63.2-6.5
14Vanuatu62.92.4
15Philippines61.1-3.0
16Micronesia6110.6
17Tonga60.83.3
18Vietnam60.6-1.1
19Bhutan59.31.0
20Kiribati59.214.8
21Cambodia57.1-0.2
22Solomon Islands56.50.0
23Fiji56.4-5.8
24Kyrgyz Republic55.8-7.9
25Uzbekistan55.7-2.6
26Papua New Guinea54.6-4.3
27India53.9-2.6
28Sri Lanka53.3-2.4
29Bangladesh52.7-3.8
30Tajikistan49.7-5.5
31Nepal49.7-1.0
32Burma49.6-5.6
33Laos49.2-4.7
34Pakistan48.8-2.9
35China48-10.4
36Maldives47.3-7.9
37Timor-Leste46.31.6
38Turkmenistan46.2-1.2
39North Korea3-2.2
See Entire Region List ›

View all countries ›

Back to Top