Democracy Index

The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a UK-based company. It intends to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states.

The Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index map for 2019[1]

The index was first published in 2006, with updates for 2008, 2010 and later years. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories, measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorises each country into one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.

Method

As described in the report,[2] the democracy index is a weighted average based on the answers of 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted alternative answers. Most answers are experts' assessments. Some answers are provided by public-opinion surveys from the respective countries. In the case of countries for which survey results are missing, survey results for similar countries, and expert assessments are used in order to fill in gaps.

The questions are grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Each answer is converted to a score, either 0 or 1, or for the three-answer questions, 0, 0.5 or 1. With the exceptions mentioned below, within each category, the scores are added, multiplied by ten, and divided by the total number of questions within the category. There are a few modifying dependencies, which are explained much more precisely than the main rule procedures. In a few cases, an answer yielding zero for one question voids another question; e.g. if the elections for the national legislature and head of government are not considered free (question 1), then the next question, "Are elections... fair?", is not considered, but automatically scored zero. Likewise, there are a few questions considered so important that a low score on them yields a penalty on the total score sum for their respective categories, namely:

  1. "Whether national elections are free and fair";
  2. "The security of voters";
  3. "The influence of foreign powers on government";
  4. "The capability of the civil servants to implement policies".

The five category indices, which are listed in the report, are then averaged to find the Democracy Index for a given country. Finally, the Democracy Index, rounded to two decimals, decides the regime type classification of the country.

The report discusses other indices of democracy, as defined, e.g. by Freedom House, and argues for some of the choices made by the team from the Economist Intelligence Unit. In this comparison, a higher emphasis is placed on the public opinion and attitudes, as measured by surveys, but on the other hand, economic living standards are not weighted as one criterion of democracy (as seemingly some other investigators have done).[3][4]

The report is widely cited in the international press as well as in peer reviewed academic journals.[5]

Classification definitions

Full democracies are nations where civil liberties and fundamental political freedoms are not only respected but also reinforced by a political culture conducive to the thriving of democratic principles. These nations have a valid system of governmental checks and balances, an independent judiciary whose decisions are enforced, governments that function adequately, and diverse and independent media. These nations have only limited problems in democratic functioning.[6]

Flawed democracies are nations where elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties are honoured but may have issues (e.g. media freedom infringement and minor suppression of political opposition and critics). These nations have significant faults in other democratic aspects, including underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance.[6]

Hybrid regimes are nations with regular electoral frauds, preventing them from being fair and free democracies. These nations commonly have governments that apply pressure on political opposition, non-independent judiciaries, widespread corruption, harassment and pressure placed on the media, anaemic rule of law, and more pronounced faults than flawed democracies in the realms of underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance.[6]

Authoritarian regimes are nations where political pluralism is nonexistent or severely limited. These nations are often absolute monarchies or dictatorships, may have some conventional institutions of democracy but with meagre significance, infringements and abuses of civil liberties are commonplace, elections (if they take place) are not fair and free, the media is often state-owned or controlled by groups associated with the ruling regime, the judiciary is not independent, and censorship and suppression of governmental criticism are commonplace.[6]

Democracy Index by country 2019

Listing by country is available on The Economist website.[7]

Democracy Index 2019
Rank Country Score Electoral process
and pluralism
Functio­ning of
govern­ment
Political
partici­pation
Political
culture
Civil
liberties
Regime
type
Region[n 1] Changes from
last year
1   Norway 9.87 10.00 9.64 10.00 10.00 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe Score:  
Rank:  
2   Iceland 9.58 10.00 9.29 8.89 10.00 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe
3   Sweden 9.39 9.58 9.64 8.33 10.00 9.41 Full democracy Western Europe
4   New Zealand 9.26 10.00 9.29 8.89 8.13 10.00 Full democracy Asia & Australasia
5   Finland 9.25 10.00 8.93 8.89 8.75 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.11
Rank:   3
6   Ireland 9.24 10.00 7.86 8.33 10.00 10.00 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.09
Rank:  
7   Denmark 9.22 10.00 9.29 8.33 9.38 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score:  
Rank:   2
  Canada 9.22 9.58 9.64 7.78 9.38 9.71 Full democracy North America Score:   0.07
Rank:   1
9   Australia 9.09 10.00 8.93 7.78 8.75 10.00 Full democracy Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:  
10    Switzerland 9.03 9.58 9.29 7.78 9.38 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe
11   Netherlands 9.01 9.58 9.29 8.33 8.75 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.12
Rank:  
12   Luxembourg 8.81 10.00 8.93 6.67 8.75 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe Score:  
Rank:  
13   Germany 8.68 9.58 8.57 8.33 7.50 9.41 Full democracy Western Europe
14   United Kingdom 8.52 9.58 7.50 8.89 7.50 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.01
Rank:  
15   Uruguay 8.38 10.00 8.57 6.11 7.50 9.71 Full democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:  
16   Austria 8.29 9.58 7.86 8.33 6.88 8.82 Full democracy Western Europe Score:  
Rank:  
  Spain 8.29 9.58 7.14 7.78 8.13 8.82 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.11
Rank:   3
18   Mauritius 8.22 9.17 8.21 5.56 8.75 9.41 Full democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   1
19   Costa Rica 8.13 9.58 7.50 6.67 7.50 9.41 Full democracy Latin America Score:   0.06
Rank:   1
20   France 8.12 9.58 7.86 7.78 6.88 8.53 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.32
Rank:   9
21   Chile 8.08 9.58 8.57 5.00 8.13 9.12 Full democracy Latin America Score:   0.11
Rank:   2
22   Portugal 8.03 9.58 7.86 6.11 7.50 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score:   0.19
Rank:   5
23   South Korea[n 2] 8.00 9.17 7.86 7.22 7.50 8.24 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   2
24   Japan 7.99 8.75 8.21 6.67 7.50 8.82 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia
25   United States 7.96 9.17 7.14 7.78 7.50 8.24 Flawed democracy North America Score:  
Rank:  
26   Malta 7.95 9.17 7.50 6.11 8.13 8.82 Flawed democracy Western Europe Score:   0.26
Rank:   8
27   Estonia 7.90 9.58 7.86 6.67 6.88 8.53 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:   0.07
Rank:   4
28   Israel 7.86 9.17 7.86 8.89 7.50 5.88 Flawed democracy Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.07
Rank:   2
29   Botswana 7.81 9.17 7.14 6.11 7.50 9.12 Flawed democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   1
30   Cape Verde 7.78 9.17 7.36 6.67 6.88 8.82 Flawed democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   4
31   Taiwan 7.73 9.58 8.21 6.11 5.63 9.12 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   1
32   Czech Republic 7.69 9.58 6.79 6.67 6.88 8.53 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:  
Rank:   2
33   Belgium 7.64 9.58 8.21 5.00 6.88 8.53 Flawed democracy Western Europe Score:   0.14
Rank:   2
34   Cyprus 7.59 9.17 6.43 6.67 6.88 8.82 Flawed democracy Western Europe Score:  
Rank:   1
35   Italy 7.52 9.58 6.07 7.78 6.25 7.94 Flawed democracy Western Europe Score:   0.19
Rank:   2
36   Slovenia 7.50 9.58 6.79 6.67 6.25 8.24 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:  
Rank:  
  Lithuania 7.50 9.58 6.43 6.11 6.25 9.12 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe
38   Latvia 7.49 9.58 6.07 6.11 6.88 8.82 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:   0.11
Rank:  
39   Greece 7.43 9.58 4.86 6.67 7.50 8.53 Flawed democracy Western Europe Score:   0.14
Rank:  
40   South Africa 7.24 7.42 7.50 8.33 5.00 7.94 Flawed democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:  
41   Timor-Leste 7.19 9.58 6.29 5.56 6.88 7.65 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   1
42   Slovakia 7.17 9.58 7.14 5.56 5.63 7.94 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:   0.07
Rank:   2
43   Malaysia 7.16 9.17 7.86 6.67 6.25 5.88 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.28
Rank:   9
  Trinidad and Tobago 7.16 9.58 7.14 6.11 5.63 7.35 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:  
45   Colombia 7.13 9.17 6.79 5.56 5.63 8.53 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.17
Rank:   6
46   Panama 7.05 9.58 6.07 6.67 5.00 7.94 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:   1
47   Bulgaria 7.03 9.17 6.43 7.22 4.38 7.94 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe
48   Argentina 7.02 9.17 5.36 6.11 6.25 8.24 Flawed democracy Latin America
49   Suriname 6.98 9.17 6.43 6.67 5.00 7.65 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:  
50   Jamaica 6.96 8.75 7.14 4.44 6.25 8.24 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.06
Rank:   3
51   India 6.90 8.67 6.79 6.67 5.63 6.76 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.33
Rank:   10
52   Brazil 6.86 9.58 5.36 6.11 5.00 8.24 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.11
Rank:   2
53   Tunisia 6.72 9.17 5.71 7.22 5.63 5.88 Flawed democracy Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.31
Rank:   10
54   Philippines 6.64 9.17 5.36 7.22 4.38 7.06 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.07
Rank:   1
55   Ghana 6.63 8.33 5.71 6.67 6.25 6.18 Flawed democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   2
  Hungary 6.63 8.75 6.07 5.00 6.25 7.06 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe
57   Poland 6.62 9.17 6.07 6.11 4.38 7.35 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:   0.05
Rank:   3
58   Peru 6.60 9.17 5.00 5.56 5.63 7.65 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:   1
59   Croatia 6.57 9.17 6.07 5.56 5.00 7.06 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:  
Rank:   1
60   Dominican Republic 6.54 9.17 5.36 6.11 5.00 7.06 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:   1
  Lesotho 6.54 9.17 4.50 6.67 5.63 6.76 Flawed democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   4
62   Mongolia 6.50 9.17 5.71 5.56 5.00 7.06 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:  
63   Romania 6.49 9.17 5.71 5.56 4.38 7.65 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:   0.11
Rank:   3
64   Indonesia 6.48 7.92 7.14 6.11 5.63 5.59 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.09
Rank:   1
65   Namibia 6.43 6.58 5.36 6.67 5.63 7.94 Flawed democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.18
Rank:   4
66   Serbia 6.41 8.25 5.36 6.11 5.00 7.35 Flawed democracy Eastern Europe Score:  
Rank:   3
67   Ecuador 6.33 8.75 5.36 6.11 4.38 7.06 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.06
Rank:   1
68   Thailand 6.32 7.42 5.36 6.11 6.25 6.47 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   1.69
Rank:   38
69   Sri Lanka 6.27 7.00 6.07 5.56 6.25 6.47 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.08
Rank:   2
70   Paraguay 6.24 8.75 5.71 5.00 4.38 7.35 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:  
Rank:  
71   El Salvador 6.15 9.17 4.64 6.11 3.75 7.06 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.19
Rank:   6
  Guyana 6.15 6.92 5.36 6.11 5.00 7.35 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.52
Rank:   17
73   Mexico 6.09 7.83 6.07 7.22 3.13 6.18 Flawed democracy Latin America Score:   0.1
Rank:   2
74   Papua New Guinea 6.03 6.92 6.07 3.89 5.63 7.65 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   1
75   Hong Kong 6.02 3.58 4.36 6.11 7.50 8.53 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.13
Rank:   2
  Singapore 6.02 3.92 7.86 5.00 6.25 7.06 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score:   0.36
Rank:   9
77   North Macedonia 5.97 7.00 5.36 6.67 3.75 7.06 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.1
Rank:   1
78   Ukraine 5.90 7.42 2.71 6.67 6.25 6.47 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.21
Rank:   6
79   Albania 5.89 7.00 5.36 4.44 5.00 7.65 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.09
Rank:   3
80   Bangladesh 5.88 7.83 6.07 6.11 4.38 5.00 Hybrid regime Asia & Australasia Score:   0.31
Rank:   8
81   Fiji 5.85 6.58 5.36 6.11 5.63 5.59 Hybrid regime Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   2
82   Senegal 5.81 6.08 6.07 4.44 6.25 6.18 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.34
Rank:   9
83   Moldova 5.75 6.58 4.64 6.11 4.38 7.06 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.1
Rank:   4
84   Montenegro 5.65 5.67 5.36 6.11 4.38 6.76 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.09
Rank:   3
85   Madagascar 5.64 7.92 3.57 6.11 5.63 5.00 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.42
Rank:   10
86   Armenia 5.54 7.50 5.36 6.11 3.13 5.59 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.75
Rank:   17
87   Malawi 5.50 6.08 4.29 5.00 6.25 5.88 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.01
Rank:   3
88   Liberia 5.45 7.42 3.07 5.56 5.63 5.59 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   5
89   Georgia 5.42 7.83 3.21 6.11 4.38 5.59 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.08
Rank:  
  Honduras 5.42 7.83 4.29 4.44 4.38 6.18 Hybrid regime Latin America Score:   0.21
Rank:   4
91   Bhutan 5.30 8.75 6.79 2.78 4.38 3.82 Hybrid regime Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   3
92     Nepal 5.28 4.83 5.36 5.00 5.63 5.59 Hybrid regime Asia & Australasia Score:   0.1
Rank:   5
93   Guatemala 5.26 6.92 4.64 3.89 4.38 6.47 Hybrid regime Latin America Score:   0.34
Rank:   6
94   Kenya 5.18 3.50 5.71 6.67 5.63 4.41 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.07
Rank:   4
95   Tanzania 5.16 5.75 5.00 5.00 5.63 4.41 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.25
Rank:   4
96   Morocco 5.10 5.25 4.64 5.56 5.63 4.41 Hybrid regime Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.11
Rank:   4
97   Benin 5.09 4.67 5.71 4.44 5.63 5.00 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.65
Rank:   16
  Zambia 5.09 4.75 2.93 4.44 6.88 6.47 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.52
Rank:   11
99   Uganda 5.02 4.33 3.57 4.44 6.88 5.88 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.18
Rank:   3
100   Mali 4.92 6.42 3.07 3.89 5.63 5.59 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.49
Rank:   9
101   Kyrgyzstan 4.89 6.08 2.93 6.67 3.75 5.00 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.22
Rank:   3
102   Bosnia and Herzegovina 4.86 6.17 2.93 5.56 3.75 5.88 Hybrid regime Eastern Europe Score:   0.12
Rank:   1
  Sierra Leone 4.86 6.58 2.86 3.33 6.25 5.29 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.2
Rank:   3
104   Bolivia 4.84 4.75 3.93 5.00 3.75 6.76 Hybrid regime Latin America Score:   0.86
Rank:   21
105   Haiti 4.57 4.75 2.07 3.89 6.25 5.88 Hybrid regime Latin America Score:   0.34
Rank:   3
106   Lebanon 4.36 3.92 1.50 6.67 5.00 4.71 Hybrid regime Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.27
Rank:  
107   Gambia 4.33 4.00 4.29 3.33 5.63 4.41 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.02
Rank:   4
108   Pakistan 4.25 6.08 5.71 2.22 2.50 4.71 Hybrid regime Asia & Australasia Score:   0.08
Rank:   4
109   Nigeria 4.12 5.17 3.93 3.33 3.75 4.41 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.32
Rank:   1
110   Turkey 4.09 3.08 5.00 5.00 5.00 2.35 Hybrid regime Western Europe Score:   0.28
Rank:  
111   Ivory Coast 4.05 4.33 2.86 3.33 5.63 4.12 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   2
112   Burkina Faso 4.04 3.92 2.71 4.44 5.00 4.12 Hybrid regime Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.71
Rank:   8
113   Algeria 4.01 3.08 2.86 5.00 5.00 4.12 Hybrid regime Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.51
Rank:   13
114   Jordan 3.93 3.58 4.29 3.89 4.38 3.53 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:  
Rank:   1
  Kuwait 3.93 3.58 4.29 3.89 4.38 3.53 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.08
Rank:   2
116   Mauritania 3.92 3.50 3.57 5.00 3.13 4.41 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   3
117   Palestine 3.89 3.33 0.14 7.78 4.38 3.82 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.5
Rank:   8
118   Iraq 3.74 5.25 0.00 6.67 5.00 1.76 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.32
Rank:   4
119   Angola 3.72 2.25 2.86 5.56 5.00 2.94 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   4
120   Mozambique 3.65 2.58 2.14 5.00 5.00 3.53 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.2
Rank:   4
121   Gabon 3.61 2.58 2.21 4.44 5.00 3.82 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   3
122   Myanmar 3.55 3.08 3.93 2.78 5.63 2.35 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:   0.28
Rank:   4
  Nicaragua 3.55 1.25 2.86 3.89 5.63 4.12 Authoritarian Latin America Score:   0.08
Rank:  
124   Cambodia 3.53 0.83 4.64 3.33 5.63 3.24 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:   0.06
Rank:   1
125   Ethiopia 3.44 0.42 3.57 5.56 5.00 2.65 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.09
Rank:   3
126   Togo 3.30 3.17 1.79 3.33 5.00 3.24 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.2
Rank:   12
127   Niger 3.29 2.92 1.14 3.33 4.38 4.71 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.47
Rank:   7
128   Qatar 3.19 0.00 4.29 2.22 5.63 3.82 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:  
Rank:   5
129   Rwanda 3.16 1.42 4.29 2.78 4.38 2.94 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.19
Rank:   1
  Zimbabwe 3.16 0.00 2.50 4.44 5.63 3.24 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   5
131   Comoros 3.15 2.08 2.21 3.89 3.75 3.82 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.56
Rank:   10
132   Eswatini 3.14 0.92 2.86 2.78 5.63 3.53 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.11
Rank:   9
  Guinea 3.14 3.50 0.43 4.44 4.38 2.94 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   4
134   Republic of the Congo 3.11 2.17 2.50 3.89 3.75 3.24 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.2
Rank:   3
  Russia 3.11 2.17 1.79 5.00 2.50 4.12 Authoritarian Eastern Europe Score:   0.17
Rank:   10
136   Vietnam 3.08 0.00 3.21 3.89 5.63 2.65 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:   3
137   Egypt 3.06 2.67 3.21 3.33 3.75 2.35 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.3
Rank:   10
  Oman 3.06 0.08 3.93 2.78 4.38 4.12 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.02
Rank:   3
139   Kazakhstan 2.94 0.50 2.14 4.44 4.38 3.24 Authoritarian Eastern Europe Score:  
Rank:   5
140   Venezuela 2.88 0.00 1.79 5.00 4.38 3.24 Authoritarian Latin America Score:   0.28
Rank:   6
141   Afghanistan 2.85 3.42 0.64 3.89 2.50 3.82 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:   0.12
Rank:   2
  Cameroon 2.85 1.67 2.50 3.33 4.38 2.35 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.43
Rank:   9
143   Cuba 2.84 0.00 3.57 3.33 4.38 2.94 Authoritarian Latin America Score:   0.16
Rank:   1
144   Djibouti 2.77 0.42 1.29 3.89 5.63 2.65 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.1
Rank:   2
145   United Arab Emirates 2.76 0.00 3.93 2.22 5.00 2.65 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:  
Rank:   2
146   Azerbaijan 2.75 0.50 3.21 2.78 3.75 3.53 Authoritarian Eastern Europe Score:   0.1
Rank:   3
147   Sudan 2.70 0.00 1.79 5.56 5.00 1.18 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.55
Rank:   8
148   Guinea-Bissau 2.63 4.92 0.00 2.78 3.13 2.35 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.65
Rank:   9
149   Bahrain 2.55 0.83 2.71 2.78 4.38 2.06 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.16
Rank:   1
150   Belarus 2.48 0.92 2.00 2.78 4.38 2.35 Authoritarian Eastern Europe Score:   0.65
Rank:   13
151   Iran 2.38 0.00 2.86 4.44 3.13 1.47 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.07
Rank:   1
152   Eritrea 2.37 0.00 2.14 1.67 6.88 1.18 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:  
Rank:   1
153   China 2.26 0.00 4.29 3.33 2.50 1.18 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:   1.06
Rank:   23
154   Burundi 2.15 0.00 0.07 3.33 5.00 2.35 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.18
Rank:   1
155   Laos 2.14 0.00 2.86 1.67 5.00 1.18 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:   0.23
Rank:   4
156   Libya 2.02 0.00 0.00 2.78 4.38 2.94 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:   0.17
Rank:   2
157   Uzbekistan 2.01 0.08 1.86 2.22 5.00 0.88 Authoritarian Eastern Europe Score:  
Rank:   1
158   Yemen 1.95 0.00 0.00 3.89 5.00 0.88 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:  
Rank:  
159   Saudi Arabia 1.93 0.00 2.86 2.22 3.13 1.47 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa
  Tajikistan 1.93 0.08 0.79 1.67 6.25 0.88 Authoritarian Eastern Europe
161   Equatorial Guinea 1.92 0.00 0.43 3.33 4.38 1.47 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa
162   Turkmenistan 1.72 0.00 0.79 2.22 5.00 0.59 Authoritarian Eastern Europe
163   Chad 1.61 0.00 0.00 1.67 3.75 2.65 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa
164   Syria 1.43 0.00 0.00 2.78 4.38 0.00 Authoritarian Middle East & North Africa Score:  
Rank:   2
165   Central African Republic 1.32 1.25 0.00 1.11 1.88 2.35 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa Score:   0.2
Rank:   1
166   Democratic Republic of the Congo 1.13 0.00 0.00 1.67 3.13 0.88 Authoritarian Sub-Saharan Africa
167   North Korea 1.08 0.00 2.50 1.67 1.25 0.00 Authoritarian Asia & Australasia Score:  
Rank:  
Rank Country Score Electoral process
and pluralism
Functio­ning of
govern­ment
Political
partici­pation
Political
culture
Civil
liberties
Regime
type
Region Changes from
last year

Recent changes

In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy;[8] its score, which had been declining for some years, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016. The report states that this was caused by a myriad of factors dating back to at least the late 1960s which have eroded Americans' trust in governmental institutions.[8][9][10]

The 2017 Democracy index registered the worst year for global democracy since 2010–11. Asia was the region with the largest decline since 2016. Venezuela was downgraded from a hybrid regime to an authoritarian regime.

Australia (ranked 8th) and Taiwan (ranked 33rd) both legalised same-sex marriage in 2017. In China, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, further entrenched his power by writing his contribution to the Chinese Communist Party's ideology, dubbed Xi Jinping Thought, into the party's constitution. Moldova was downgraded from a flawed democracy to a hybrid regime as a result of problematic elections. By contrast, Armenia was re-upgraded from an authoritarian regime to a hybrid regime[11] as a result of constitutional changes that shifted power from the presidency to parliament.[12]

In 2017, the Gambia was re-upgraded from an authoritarian regime to a hybrid regime after Yahya Jammeh, who was president from 1996 to 2017, was defeated by Adama Barrow, an opposition candidate in the 2016 presidential elections.

In 2019, France, Portugal and Chile were upgraded from flawed democracy to full democracy. In fact, this is a re-upgrade for the former two, which suffered from the eurozone crisis many years ago. By contrast, Malta was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy. Thailand was re-upgraded from a hybrid regime to a flawed democracy.[7] Algeria was re-upgraded from an authoritarian regime to a hybrid regime.

Criticism

The Democracy Index has been criticised for lacking transparency and accountability beyond the numbers. To generate the index, the Economist Intelligence Unit has a scoring system in which various experts are asked to answer 60 questions and assign each reply a number, with the weighted average deciding the ranking. However, the final report does not indicate what kinds of experts, nor their number, nor whether the experts are employees of the Economist Intelligence Unit or independent scholars, nor the nationalities of the experts.[13]

Democracy Index by regime type

The following table gives the number and percentage of countries and the percentage of the world population for each regime type in 2018:[14]

Type of regime Score (s) Number of
countries
Percentage of
countries
Percentage of
world population
Full democracies s > 8 20 12.0 4.5
Flawed democracies 6 < s ≤ 8 55 32.9 43.2
Hybrid regimes 4 < s ≤ 6 39 23.4 16.7
Authoritarian regimes s ≤ 4 53 31.7 35.6

World population refers to the total population of the 167 countries covered by the Index. Since this excludes only microstates, this is nearly equal to the entire estimated world population.

Democracy Index by region

The following table gives the index average by world region, and the number of covered countries in 2019. Note that some regional groups (e.g. Eastern Europe and Asia and Australasia) are very heterogeneous and composed of full democracies as well as authoritarian regimes:

Rank Region Countries 2006[4] 2008[15] 2010[3] 2011[16] 2012[2] 2013[17] 2014[18] 2015[6] 2016[19] 2017[20] 2018[14] 2019[7]
1 North America 2 8.64 8.64 8.63 8.59 8.59 8.59 8.59 8.56 8.56 8.56 8.56 8.59
2 Western Europe 21 8.60 8.61 8.45 8.40 8.44 8.41 8.41 8.42 8.40 8.38 8.35 8.35
3 Latin America and the Caribbean 24 6.37 6.43 6.37 6.35 6.36 6.38 6.36 6.37 6.33 6.26 6.24 6.13
4 Asia and Australasia 28 5.44 5.58 5.53 5.51 5.56 5.61 5.70 5.74 5.74 5.63 5.67 5.67
5 Central and Eastern Europe 28 5.76 5.67 5.55 5.50 5.51 5.53 5.58 5.55 5.43 5.40 5.42 5.42
6 Sub-Saharan Africa 44 4.24 4.28 4.23 4.32 4.33 4.36 4.34 4.38 4.37 4.35 4.36 4.26
7 Middle East and North Africa 20 3.54 3.48 3.52 3.62 3.73 3.68 3.65 3.58 3.56 3.54 3.54 3.53
World 167 5.52 5.55 5.46 5.49 5.52 5.53 5.55 5.55 5.52 5.48 5.48 5.44

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The region is defined by the official EIU report, for example grouping Turkey in Western Europe and all post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe.
  2. ^ An exact score of 8.00 is considered a Flawed democracy per the EIU website.

References

  1. ^ "EIU Democracy Index 2019 - World Democracy Report". www.eiu.com. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  2. ^ a b "Democracy index 2012: Democracy at a standstill" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 14 March 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Democracy Index 2010: Democracy in retreat" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 6 December 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Laza Kekic, director, country forecasting services (15 November 2006). "The Economist Intelligence Unit's index of democracy" (PDF). The World in 2007. Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "More State than Nation: Lukashenko's Belarus | JIA SIPA". Journal of International Affairs. 65 (1): 93–113. 1 December 2011. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Democracy Index 2015: Democracy in an age of anxiety" (PDF). The Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Democracy Index 2019 A year of democratic setbacks and popular protest". EIU.com. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  8. ^ a b Karlis, Nicole (31 January 2018). "New report classifies US as a "flawed democracy" - Partisanship and Trump were to blame for the US's dismal ranking in the Economist's annual Democracy Index report". Salon. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  9. ^ Eshe Nelson (25 January 2017). "The US has been downgraded to a "flawed democracy," but not just because of Trump". Qz.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Declining trust in government is denting democracy". The Economist. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 14 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Democracy Index 2017". www.eiu.com. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  12. ^ "Democracy Index 2017: Free Speech Under Attack" (PDF). www.eiu.com. 30 January 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Peter Tasker: The flawed 'science' behind democracy rankings". asia.nikkei.com. Archived from the original on 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  14. ^ a b The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2018: Me Too?". The Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived from the original on 2 February 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Index of Democracy 2008" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 21 October 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Democracy index 2011: Democracy under stress". Economist Intelligence Unit. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Democracy Index 2013: Democracy in limbo". The Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Democracy Index 2014:Democracy and its discontents" (PDF). The Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Democracy Index 2016: Revenge of the "deplorables"". eiu.com. The Economist Intelligence Unit. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Democracy Index 2017: Free speech under attack". eiu.com. The Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.

External links