A libertarian think tank study ranks the Garden State the third least-free state in the country in the amount of freedom it grants citizens, according to a published report Thursday.
The rankings, according to The Huffington Post, considered a variety of social liberties including marijuana laws and marriage equality, but the main focus of the study were libertarian concerns like state regulation.
The libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University produced the study, co-authored by William P. Ruger of Texas State University, the report said.
While the study did not include abortion rights, libertarian hot button issues like state licensing restrictions for dental hygienists and nurse practitioners were considered.
"Some of these things, they sound obscure but they have a real financial impact," study co-author Jason Sorens, an assistant professor at SUNY-Buffalo said. "Those practitioners are a lot cheaper, frankly, than fully credentialed doctors and dentists."
For people who feel their state might have been shortchanged, the study’s authors are rolling out a new website where people can customize their own freedom rankings.
The survey ranked North Dakota as the most free state, followed by Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma.
What states did the study find even less free than New Jersey? California finished 49th, while New York rounded out the study as the least free state in the union.