17 Freedoms Other Countries Have That the US Doesn’t

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By Jonathan Trent

The U.S. is generally committed to its people’s freedom. However, some other countries enjoy certain freedoms that aren’t supported in the U.S. Here are 17 freedoms that exist in many other countries but, unfortunately, not in the U.S.

Easier Access to Healthcare

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According to Investopedia, Americans spend an average of $13,000 a year on healthcare. Other countries benefit from universal healthcare systems that provide all citizens with medical services, no matter their income, with a stronger emphasis on preventative care to reduce costs in the long run.

Less Car Dependency

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To travel hundreds and thousands of miles across the U.S., you definitely need a car. Other countries benefit from walkable cities, bicycle-friendly infrastructures, less traffic congestion, extensive public transport networks, and—of course—less land to travel over! These things allow more freedom of movement for different groups in society, such as those who can’t afford a car, the elderly, youths, and the disabled.

Better Workers’ Rights

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Many other countries offer better labor unions and collective bargaining rights, as well as guaranteed paid vacation time, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave. They also provide legal protection against unfair dismissal and workplace discrimination.

Affordable Childcare

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Lots of countries provide free or subsidized childcare programs to support working parents. This encourages greater workforce participation by parents, particularly women, which means families are more able to earn a higher joint income and provide better support for their children.

Government-Funded Higher Education

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Many other countries offer completely free or heavily subsidized higher education, which promotes broader access to opportunities and reduces student debt. However, as if higher education in the U.S. isn’t expensive enough, US News now states that the average college tuition fee for private and public schools has increased in the past couple of years. 

Recognition of Gender Identities

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Other countries recognize different gender identities better, with legal acknowledgement and simplified processes for gender marker changes on official documents. They also provide more protection against discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity. 

Gun Control Laws

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While many Americans who support the right to bear arms may not see this as freedom – it’s well-known that countries with strict gun control laws have much lower rates of gun violence. This is because there are comprehensive background checks, long waiting periods, and limited access when purchasing firearms. 

Government-Sponsored Parental Leave

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Many countries offer generous maternity and paternity leave policies – meaning new parents can spend more time with their babies and still support themselves financially, with a job to go back to at the end. This supports family bonding and encourages gender equality by allowing fathers to take on caregiving roles. 

Stronger Data Protection

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Some countries have much stricter data protection laws – like the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Gov.uk says that under the Data Protection Act 2018, everyone has to follow data protection principles, and you have the right to access any information the government or organizations have about you. 

Legalized Public Drinking

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Some countries have legalized public drinking in certain areas or open spaces. This encourages a more relaxed social atmosphere in public areas; however, regulations and enforcement maintain responsible behavior.

Guaranteed Livable Wages

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Minimum wage laws in many countries ensure that workers always earn an income they can live comfortably on. Wages are periodically adjusted to match inflation rates, which supports quality of life and reduces poverty and homelessness. Some even have a dedicated living-wage. 

Digital Rights and Free Speech

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Other countries have laws that balance free speech with protection against hate speech and incitement. Legal frameworks safeguard internet users’ rights to access information, and mechanisms are in place to challenge censorship and promote transparent communications.

Capital Punishment Ban

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According to the BBC, 55 countries still have the death penalty. This means that most countries have now banned capital punishment for all crimes. There is a greater emphasis on rehabilitation in the justice system and international agreements abolishing capital punishment and torture. 

Cheaper Public Transportation

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Lots of countries have more affordable public transport for their citizens, which encourages less car usage and lowers environmental damage from carbon emissions. Extensive train, bus, and tram networks make it easier for people to get around for less money.

Mandatory Voting 

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Again, this may not be seen as a freedom, but mandatory voting in elections promotes civic engagement and allows everyone to have their say and participate in the democratic process. Voting is made simple with mail-in ballots and accessible polling locations, and sometimes there are penalties for non-voters.

Mental Health Services

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In many countries, mental health services are integrated into public healthcare systems. This means that there is wider access to therapists, counselors, and psychiatric care at low or no cost. There is a greater emphasis on community-based treatment and support, which reduces poor mental health across the nation.


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Certain countries, like Switzerland, allow terminally ill patients to opt for euthanasia. There are strict regulations in place to ensure ethical and humane practices. This law acknowledges patient autonomy and end-of-life rights.