The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.

Company details

3939 North Wilke Road , Chicago , Illinois 60004 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include parental choice in education, choice and personal responsibility in health care, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies.

The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit research and education organization with offices in Chicago and Washington DC. Founded in 1984, it is tax exempt under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is not affiliated with any political party, business, or foundation.

Heartland has gained the endorsement of some of the top scholars, thinkers and politicians in the world – including Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman, former Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, radio talk show host and constitutional scholar Mark R. Levin, and conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). See all the heavyweights who praise Heartland here.


The Heartland Institute works with free market-oriented experts to discuss the good and bad of national, state and local government policies in the tax and spending arenas. Topics include income, sales and excise taxes, economic development, targeted tax incentives, government pension and health costs, and other influences on taxes and spending.

We favor policies that reduce the size and power of government and expand choice and freedom for citizens. We oppose government programs and tax regimes that favor some at the expense of others.

There are many approaches to achieving spending and tax reforms that would benefit businesses and individuals. These many ideas can be found here.


Since the 1970s, American students have averaged the same flabby test scores, while federal and state spending and regulations have increased madly in an attempt to boost them. Average per-pupil spending has risen about 300% during that time period. Public school enrollment has increased about 10% since 1970, while public school employment has doubled.

Everyone knows we must try something better and different, and fast. The Heartland Institute's Education Issue Suite not only aggregates decades of the latest school reform news and research, but reaches behind the scenes to bring you experts analyzing which of these expanding options actually do expand the options for students and their families. No other think tank or publication instigates and investigates education reform this way. Browse by daily for the best and latest in student-centered education policy.


The Heartland Institute is 'the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.”
— The Economist, May 26, 2012

Heartland's Center on Climate and Environmental Policy produces an ambitious program of research and educational projects in defense of free-market environmentalism. It has assembled a team of leading scientists and economic experts to participate in the production of books, videos, a monthly public policy newspaper, events, and other public relations activities.

The environmental movement needs voices devoted to sound science and market-based, rather than government-based, solutions to environmental problems. The nation's air and water quality, the safety of its food, and the health and productivity of its forests all depend on bringing the best-available science and economic research to bear on protecting the environment.

Heartland has organized and hosted seven International Conferences on Climate Change since 2008, events that attracted extensive international attention to the debate taking place in the scientific community over the causes, extent, and consequences of climate change.


Heartland's Center on Finance Insurance and Real Estate (C-FIRE) focuses on free-market, pro-consumer regulation of financial markets. We favor policies that empower individuals, replace centralized government authority, and pare regulations. Our efforts have involved fighting price controls, arguing against government takeovers of private markets, and abolishing subsidies for companies.

We focus on a limited subset of issues where we feel we can make a meaningful difference. When confronted with an issue, we always strive to respond as quickly as possible; we want to be in every news cycle. In carrying out our work, we make special efforts to partner with anyone and everyone who shares at least some of our views.

Click here to learn more about the CFIRE project.


Consumers for Health Care Choices, a project of The Heartland Institute, seeks to preserve individual freedom, improve the quality of health care, and improve the efficiency of America’s health care system. The best way to do this is by empowering individuals by giving them more control over the dollars spent on their behalf. We believe Obamacare moves the nation in just the opposite direction, and therefore ought to be repealed and replaced.

Elements of free-market based reform in health care include expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), replacing the tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance with a refundable tax credit, removing regulations that discourage competition and choice in insurance and among health care providers, and reduce the costs associated with litigation. We work with doctors, insurers, privacy advocates, health care entrepreneurs, and consumers to help make this happen.


Legal research and sometimes participation in litigation are among the tools The Heartland Institute uses to advance its mission of discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Our efforts in this area are overseen by our general counsel and senior fellow for legal affairs, Maureen Martin.

The rule of law is fundamental to the operation of a free society. Without it, there can be no protection of private property and no enforcement of contracts. The alternative to ordered liberty is the use of force or fraud, the opposite of peaceful and productive cooperation.

Heartland files amicus briefs in cases where important principles of freedom are at stake. These have included cases involving the Second Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms – and environmental regulation, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act.

Maureen Martin writes a biweekly e-newsletter for Heartland titled Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly, which reports on real examples of outrageous abuses of the legal system. Lawsuit abuse impose enormous financial costs on everyone. We hope that by calling out examples of such abuse, we can encourage the adoption of public policies that reduces such abuses.


The Center on the Digital Economy at The Heartland Institute works to advance this simple notion: The Internet is not 'broken,' and government attempts to 'fix it' will retard the enormous potential for economic growth fueled by advances in telecommunications and technology.

Heartland believes that rules for the Internet and electronic commerce should result from private collective action, not government regulation. We believe protection of private property rights is an essential condition for effective planning and the long-term growth of the digital economy.

And we believe that effective free-market advocacy and education are required to overcome the statist special-interest groups who have for too long had the ear of policy-makers who are eager to regulate. If the public is to benefit from the many opportunities and efficiencies made possible by the digital revolution, then the market, not bureaucrats, must lead the way.