FILE - New Hampshire Flag

The state flag of New Hampshire flies alongside the American flag, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in Exeter, N.H. 

(The Center Square) – New Hampshire is well-known as the "Live Free or Die" state, and a new report from the CATO Institute backs up that motto.

The libertarian think tank's "Freedom in the 50 States" report, released this week, measures the states against each other using 230 metrics of how their policies promote freedom in fiscal, regulatory and economic realms. 

New Hampshire ranks No. 1 for overall freedom by the group, placing second for personal freedom and third in economic freedom. 

The report's authors noted that the Granite State has "regained the crown" as the freest state in the nation after slipping to second place in last year's rankings. 

"It could be a challenge for rivals to catch New Hampshire next time because of policy changes in 2021 in a pro-freedom direction, including tax cuts and the passage of the education freedom accounts program," the report said. "The 'New Hampshire Advantage' could get even stronger within New England."

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu took to social media to "humbly" brag about his state's top ranking. 

"Our primary focus is to open as many doors of opportunity for our residents as possible, while balancing a safe environment with economic success," the Republican tweeted. "Very proud to lead the nation and be a model for other states."

In the report, New Hampshire was ranked highly for its personal freedoms, including victimless crimes, guns, tobacco, and education. 

The state also got high marks for its fiscal policies – a category that includes taxes, government employment, spending, debt, and fiscal decentralization – ranking No. 3 in the nation, according to the report. 

New Hampshire’s overall tax burden is well below the national average at 8.1%, the report noted. No other state except for Alaska taxes its citizens less, the report noted.

In terms of regulatory freedom, New Hampshire placed in the midrange, however, ranking 23rd in what the report’s authors said was a "not so sunny outlook." 

"The Granite State’s primary sin is exclusionary zoning," the authors wrote. "Both measures suggest that New Hampshire is among the more regulated states, although one measure shows improvement since 2005 relative to other states." 

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy noted that the top ranking in the CATO report comes after New Hampshire placed first in the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom report.

But the center pointed out that both reports suggest that New Hampshire is losing ground to other states that have been aggressively cutting taxes and deregulating. 

"While these back-to-back reports give Granite Staters cause to boast about our relatively high level of economic and personal freedom, they also offer a warning that this position is threatened and will not be maintained without a continued effort to remove barriers to freedom that exist at the state and local levels," the group said in a blog post.