The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has published a map showing how many regulatory restrictions each state has in its administrative code. How does North Carolina compare?

This map is generated from Mercatus’ State RegData platform. As Mercatus explains,

As in all RegData datasets, regulatory restrictions are a metric designed to act as a proxy for the number of prohibitions and obligations contained in regulatory text, as indicated by the number of occurrences of the words and phrases “shall,” “must,” “may not,” “required,” and “prohibited” in each state’s regulations.

I used State RegData earlier this year to generate this information about the extent of North Carolina’s alcohol regulations:

Government red tape slows down the economy. Economic research is clear and consistent on this point. Federal regulation has been estimated to cost the U.S. economy over $1.9 trillion in 2019. State regulation has been estimated to cost the North Carolina economy as much as $25.5 billion in 2015.

For these reasons, the John Locke Foundation urges a menu of regulatory best practices and red-tape reduction efforts. Our goal as ever is for North Carolina to achieve its aspiration, its boast, of being First In Freedom.