Democracy Index

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The 2021 Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index map

The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research division of the Economist Group, a UK-based private company which publishes the weekly newspaper The Economist. Akin to a Human Development Index but centrally concerned with political institutions and freedoms, the index attempts to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries and territories, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states.

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 categorizes each country into one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes, and authoritarian regimes. The Economist has published reports with updated versions of the Democracy Index for 2006,[1] 2008,[2] 2010,[3] 2011,[4] 2012,[5] 2013,[6] 2014,[7] 2015,[8] 2016,[9] 2017,[10] 2018,[11] 2019,[12] 2020,[13] and 2021.[14] (The Democracy index studies were reported every two years initially, the first report was published in 2006, then in 2008 and 2010. From 2010 the index became annual.)

Methodology[edit]

As described in the report,[5] the Democracy Index produces a weighted average based on the answers to 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted 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:

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 overall score for a given country. Finally, the score, 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][1]

The report is widely cited in the international press as well as in peer-reviewed academic journals.[15]

Definitions[edit]

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.[8]

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.[8]

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.[8]

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 or free (including sham elections), 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.[8]

By regime type[edit]

The following table indicates the number of nations and the percentage of World population for each type of regime. Some microstates are not considered in the calculation.

Year 2021[16]
Type of regime Score Countries Proportion of
World population (%)
Number (%)
Full democracies
  9.01–10.00
  8.01–9.00
21 12.6% 6.4%
Flawed democracies
  7.01–8.00
  6.01–7.00
53 31.7% 39.3%
Hybrid regimes
  5.01–6.00
  4.01–5.00
34 20.4% 17.2%
Authoritarian regimes
  3.01–4.00
  0–3.00
59 35.3% 37.1%

By region[edit]

The following table lists the average score for each geographic region defined in the report. The By country section shows the countries in each region.

Region Coun­tries 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2008 2006
North America 2 8.36 8.58 8.59 8.56 8.56 8.56 8.56 8.59 8.59 8.59 8.59 8.63 8.64 8.64
Western Europe 21 8.23 8.29 8.35 8.35 8.38 8.40 8.42 8.41 8.41 8.44 8.40 8.45 8.61 8.60
Latin America and the Caribbean 24 5.83 6.09 6.13 6.24 6.26 6.33 6.37 6.36 6.38 6.36 6.35 6.37 6.43 6.37
Asia and Australasia 28 5.46 5.62 5.67 5.67 5.63 5.74 5.74 5.70 5.61 5.56 5.51 5.53 5.58 5.44
Central and Eastern Europe 28 5.36 5.36 5.42 5.42 5.40 5.43 5.55 5.58 5.53 5.51 5.50 5.55 5.67 5.76
Sub-Saharan Africa 44 4.12 4.16 4.26 4.36 4.35 4.37 4.38 4.34 4.36 4.33 4.32 4.23 4.28 4.24
Middle East and North Africa 20 3.41 3.44 3.53 3.54 3.54 3.56 3.58 3.65 3.68 3.73 3.62 3.52 3.48 3.54
World 167 5.28 5.37 5.44 5.48 5.48 5.52 5.55 5.55 5.53 5.52 5.49 5.46 5.55 5.52

The following table lists the number of countries in each of the four democracy classifications.

Year 2021
Rank Region Countries Authoritarian Hybrid regime Flawed democracy Full democracy Average score
1 North America 2 0 0 1 1 8.36
2 Western Europe 21 0 1 8 12 8.23
3 Latin America and the Caribbean 24 4 7 11 2 5.83
4 Asia and Australasia 28 7 6 10 5 5.46
5 Central and Eastern Europe 28 8 4 16 0 5.36
6 Sub-Saharan Africa 44 23 14 6 1 4.12
7 Middle East and North Africa 20 17 2 1 0 3.41
World 167 59 34 53 21 5.28

By country[edit]

The following table shows each nation's score over the years. The regions are assigned by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and may differ from conventional classifications (for example, Turkey is grouped in Western Europe).

Region 2021 rank Country Regime type 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2008 2006
North America 12  Canada Full democracy 8.87 9.24 9.22 9.15 9.15 9.15 9.08 9.08 9.08 9.08 9.08 9.08 9.07 9.07
26  United States Flawed democracy 7.85 7.92 7.96 7.96 7.98 7.98 8.05 8.11 8.11 8.11 8.11 8.18 8.22 8.22
Western Europe 21  Austria Full democracy 8.07 8.16 8.29 8.29 8.42 8.41 8.54 8.54 8.48 8.62 8.49 8.49 8.49 8.69
36  Belgium Flawed democracy 7.51 7.51 7.64 7.78 7.78 7.77 7.93 7.93 8.05 8.05 8.05 8.05 8.16 8.15
37  Cyprus Flawed democracy 7.43 7.56 7.59 7.59 7.59 7.65 7.53 7.40 7.29 7.29 7.29 7.29 7.70 7.60
6  Denmark Full democracy 9.09 9.15 9.22 9.22 9.22 9.20 9.11 9.11 9.38 9.52 9.52 9.52 9.52 9.52
3  Finland Full democracy 9.27 9.20 9.25 9.14 9.03 9.03 9.03 9.03 9.03 9.06 9.06 9.19 9.25 9.25
22  France Flawed democracy 7.99 7.99 8.12 7.80 7.80 7.92 7.92 8.04 7.92 7.88 7.77 7.77 8.07 8.07
15  Germany Full democracy 8.67 8.67 8.68 8.68 8.61 8.63 8.64 8.64 8.31 8.34 8.34 8.38 8.82 8.82
34  Greece Flawed democracy 7.56 7.39 7.43 7.29 7.29 7.23 7.45 7.45 7.65 7.65 7.65 7.92 8.13 8.13
5  Iceland Full democracy 9.18 9.37 9.58 9.58 9.58 9.50 9.58 9.58 9.65 9.65 9.65 9.65 9.65 9.71
7  Ireland Full democracy 9.00 9.05 9.24 9.15 9.15 9.15 8.85 8.72 8.68 8.56 8.56 8.79 9.01 9.01
31  Italy Flawed democracy 7.68 7.74 7.52 7.71 7.98 7.98 7.98 7.85 7.85 7.74 7.74 7.83 7.98 7.73
14  Luxembourg Full democracy 8.68 8.68 8.81 8.81 8.81 8.81 8.88 8.88 8.88 8.88 8.88 8.88 9.10 9.10
33  Malta Flawed democracy 7.57 7.68 7.95 8.21 8.15 8.39 8.39 8.39 8.28 8.28 8.28 8.28 8.39 8.39
11  Netherlands Full democracy 8.88 8.96 9.01 8.89 8.89 8.80 8.92 8.92 8.84 8.99 8.99 8.99 9.53 9.66
1  Norway Full democracy 9.75 9.81 9.87 9.87 9.87 9.93 9.93 9.93 9.93 9.93 9.80 9.80 9.68 9.55
28  Portugal Flawed democracy 7.82 7.90 8.03 7.84 7.84 7.86 7.79 7.79 7.65 7.92 7.81 8.02 8.05 8.16
24  Spain Flawed democracy 7.94 8.12 8.29 8.08 8.08 8.30 8.30 8.05 8.02 8.02 8.02 8.16 8.45 8.34
4  Sweden Full democracy 9.26 9.26 9.39 9.39 9.39 9.39 9.45 9.73 9.73 9.73 9.50 9.50 9.88 9.88
9   Switzerland Full democracy 8.90 8.83 9.03 9.03 9.03 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.15 9.02
103  Turkey Hybrid regime 4.35 4.48 4.09 4.37 4.88 5.04 5.12 5.12 5.63 5.76 5.73 5.73 5.69 5.70
18  United Kingdom Full democracy 8.10 8.54 8.52 8.53 8.53 8.36 8.31 8.31 8.31 8.21 8.16 8.16 8.15 8.08
Central and Eastern Europe 68  Albania Flawed democracy 6.11 6.08 5.89 5.98 5.98 5.91 5.91 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.81 5.86 5.91 5.91
89  Armenia Hybrid regime 5.49 5.35 5.54 4.79 4.11 3.88 4.00 4.13 4.02 4.09 4.09 4.09 4.09 4.15
141  Azerbaijan Authoritarian 2.68 2.68 2.75 2.65 2.65 2.65 2.71 2.83 3.06 3.15 3.15 3.15 3.19 3.31
146  Belarus Authoritarian 2.41 2.59 2.48 3.13 3.13 3.54 3.62 3.69 3.04 3.04 3.16 3.34 3.34 3.34
95  Bosnia and Herzegovina Hybrid regime 5.04 4.84 4.86 4.98 4.87 4.87 4.83 4.78 5.02 5.11 5.24 5.32 5.70 5.78
53  Bulgaria Flawed democracy 6.64 6.71 7.03 7.03 7.03 7.01 7.14 6.73 6.83 6.72 6.78 6.84 7.02 7.10
56  Croatia Flawed democracy 6.50 6.50 6.57 6.57 6.63 6.75 6.93 6.93 6.93 6.93 6.73 6.81 7.04 7.04
29  Czech Republic Flawed democracy 7.74 7.67 7.69 7.69 7.62 7.82 7.94 7.94 8.06 8.19 8.19 8.19 8.19 8.17
27  Estonia Flawed democracy 7.84 7.84 7.90 7.97 7.79 7.85 7.85 7.74 7.61 7.61 7.61 7.68 7.68 7.74
91  Georgia Hybrid regime 5.12 5.31 5.42 5.50 5.93 5.93 5.88 5.82 5.95 5.53 4.74 4.59 4.62 4.90
56  Hungary Flawed democracy 6.50 6.56 6.63 6.63 6.64 6.72 6.84 6.90 6.96 6.96 7.04 7.21 7.44 7.53
128  Kazakhstan Authoritarian 3.08 3.14 2.94 2.94 3.06 3.06 3.06 3.17 3.06 2.95 3.24 3.30 3.45 3.62
115  Kyrgyzstan Authoritarian 3.62 4.21 4.89 5.11 5.11 4.93 5.33 5.24 4.69 4.69 4.34 4.31 4.05 4.08
38  Latvia Flawed democracy 7.31 7.24 7.49 7.38 7.25 7.31 7.37 7.48 7.05 7.05 7.05 7.05 7.23 7.37
40  Lithuania Flawed democracy 7.18 7.13 7.50 7.50 7.41 7.47 7.54 7.54 7.54 7.24 7.24 7.24 7.36 7.43
69  Moldova Flawed democracy 6.10 5.78 5.75 5.85 5.94 6.01 6.35 6.32 6.32 6.32 6.32 6.33 6.50 6.50
74  Montenegro Flawed democracy 6.02 5.77 5.65 5.74 5.69 5.72 6.01 5.94 5.94 6.05 6.15 6.27 6.43 6.57
73  North Macedonia Flawed democracy 6.03 5.89 5.97 5.87 5.57 5.23 6.02 6.25 6.16 6.16 6.16 6.16 6.21 6.33
51  Poland Flawed democracy 6.80 6.85 6.62 6.67 6.67 6.83 7.09 7.47 7.12 7.12 7.12 7.05 7.30 7.30
61  Romania Flawed democracy 6.43 6.40 6.49 6.38 6.44 6.62 6.68 6.68 6.54 6.54 6.54 6.60 7.06 7.06
124  Russia Authoritarian 3.24 3.31 3.11 2.94 3.17 3.24 3.31 3.39 3.59 3.74 3.92 4.26 4.48 5.02
63  Serbia Flawed democracy 6.36 6.22 6.41 6.41 6.41 6.57 6.71 6.71 6.67 6.33 6.33 6.33 6.49 6.62
45  Slovakia Flawed democracy 7.03 6.97 7.17 7.10 7.16 7.29 7.29 7.35 7.35 7.35 7.35 7.35 7.33 7.40
35  Slovenia Flawed democracy 7.54 7.54 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.51 7.57 7.57 7.88 7.88 7.76 7.69 7.96 7.96
157  Tajikistan Authoritarian 1.94 1.94 1.93 1.93 1.93 1.89 1.95 2.37 2.51 2.51 2.51 2.51 2.45 2.45
161  Turkmenistan Authoritarian 1.66 1.72 1.72 1.72 1.72 1.83 1.83 1.83 1.72 1.72 1.72 1.72 1.72 1.83
86  Ukraine Hybrid regime 5.57 5.81 5.90 5.69 5.69 5.70 5.70 5.42 5.84 5.91 5.94 6.30 6.94 6.94
150  Uzbekistan Authoritarian 2.12 2.12 2.01 2.01 1.95 1.95 1.95 2.45 1.72 1.72 1.74 1.74 1.74 1.85
Latin America and the Caribbean 50  Argentina Flawed democracy 6.81 6.95 7.02 7.02 6.96 6.96 7.02 6.84 6.84 6.84 6.84 6.84 6.63 6.63
98  Bolivia Hybrid regime 4.65 5.08 4.84 5.70 5.49 5.63 5.75 5.79 5.79 5.84 5.84 5.92 6.15 5.98
47  Brazil Flawed democracy 6.86 6.92 6.86 6.97 6.86 6.90 6.96 7.38 7.12 7.12 7.12 7.12 7.38 7.38
25  Chile Flawed democracy 7.92 8.28 8.08 7.97 7.84 7.78 7.84 7.80 7.80 7.54 7.54 7.67 7.89 7.89
59  Colombia Flawed democracy 6.48 7.04 7.13 6.96 6.67 6.67 6.62 6.55 6.55 6.63 6.63 6.55 6.54 6.40
20  Costa Rica Full democracy 8.07 8.16 8.13 8.07 7.88 7.88 7.96 8.03 8.03 8.10 8.10 8.04 8.04 8.04
142  Cuba Authoritarian 2.59 2.84 2.84 3.00 3.31 3.46 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.52
60  Dominican Republic Flawed democracy 6.45 6.32 6.54 6.54 6.66 6.67 6.67 6.67 6.74 6.49 6.20 6.20 6.20 6.13
81  Ecuador Hybrid regime 5.71 6.13 6.33 6.27 6.02 5.81 5.87 5.87 5.87 5.78 5.72 5.77 5.64 5.64
79  El Salvador Hybrid regime 5.72 5.90 6.15 5.96 6.43 6.64 6.64 6.53 6.53 6.47 6.47 6.47 6.40 6.22
99  Guatemala Hybrid regime 4.62 4.97 5.26 5.60 5.86 5.92 5.92 5.81 5.81 5.88 5.88 6.05 6.07 6.07
65  Guyana Flawed democracy 6.25 6.01 6.15 6.67 6.46 6.25 6.05 5.91 6.05 6.05 6.05 6.05 6.12 6.15
119  Haiti Authoritarian 3.48 4.22 4.57 4.91 4.03 4.02 3.94 3.82 3.94 3.96 4.00 4.00 4.19 4.19
92  Honduras Hybrid regime 5.10 5.36 5.42 5.63 5.72 5.92 5.84 5.84 5.84 5.84 5.84 5.76 6.18 6.25
42  Jamaica Flawed democracy 7.13 7.13 6.96 7.02 7.29 7.39 7.39 7.39 7.39 7.39 7.13 7.21 7.21 7.34
86  Mexico Hybrid regime 5.57 6.07 6.09 6.19 6.41 6.47 6.55 6.68 6.91 6.90 6.93 6.93 6.78 6.67
140  Nicaragua Authoritarian 2.69 3.60 3.55 3.63 4.66 4.81 5.26 5.32 5.46 5.56 5.56 5.73 6.07 5.68
48  Panama Flawed democracy 6.85 7.18 7.05 7.05 7.08 7.13 7.19 7.08 7.08 7.08 7.08 7.15 7.35 7.35
77  Paraguay Hybrid regime 5.86 6.18 6.24 6.24 6.31 6.27 6.33 6.26 6.26 6.26 6.40 6.40 6.40 6.16
71  Peru Flawed democracy 6.09 6.53 6.60 6.60 6.49 6.65 6.58 6.54 6.54 6.47 6.59 6.40 6.31 6.11
49  Suriname Flawed democracy 6.82 6.82 6.98 6.98 6.76 6.77 6.77 6.77 6.77 6.65 6.65 6.65 6.58 6.52
41  Trinidad and Tobago Flawed democracy 7.16 7.16 7.16 7.16 7.04 7.10 7.10 6.99 6.99 6.99 7.16 7.16 7.21 7.18
13  Uruguay Full democracy 8.85 8.61 8.38 8.38 8.12 8.17 8.17 8.17 8.17 8.17 8.17 8.10 8.08 7.96
151  Venezuela Authoritarian 2.11 2.76 2.88 3.16 3.87 4.68 5.00 5.07 5.07 5.15 5.08 5.18 5.34 5.42
Asia and Australasia 167  Afghanistan Authoritarian 0.32 2.85 2.85 2.97 2.55 2.55 2.77 2.77 2.48 2.48 2.48 2.48 3.02 3.06
9  Australia Full democracy 8.90 8.96 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.01 9.01 9.01 9.13 9.22 9.22 9.22 9.09 9.09
75  Bangladesh Hybrid regime 5.99 5.99 5.88 5.57 5.43 5.73 5.73 5.78 5.86 5.86 5.86 5.87 5.52 6.11
81  Bhutan Hybrid regime 5.71 5.71 5.30 5.30 5.08 4.93 4.93 4.87 4.82 4.65 4.57 4.68 4.30 2.62
134  Cambodia Authoritarian 2.90 3.10 3.53 3.59 3.63 4.27 4.27 4.78 4.60 4.96 4.87 4.87 4.87 4.77
148  China Authoritarian 2.21 2.27 2.26 3.32 3.10 3.18 3.14 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.14 3.14 3.04 2.97
84  Fiji Hybrid regime 5.61 5.72 5.85 5.85 5.85 5.64 5.69 5.61 3.61 3.67 3.67 3.62 5.11 5.66
85  Hong Kong Hybrid regime 5.60 5.57 6.02 6.15 6.31 6.42 6.50 6.46 6.42 6.42 5.92 5.92 5.85 6.03
46  India Flawed democracy 6.91 6.61 6.90 7.23 7.23 7.81 7.74 7.92 7.69 7.52 7.30 7.28 7.80 7.68
52  Indonesia Flawed democracy 6.71 6.30 6.48 6.39 6.39 6.97 7.03 6.95 6.82 6.76 6.53 6.53 6.34 6.41
17  Japan Full democracy 8.15 8.13 7.99 7.99 7.88 7.99 7.96 8.08 8.08 8.08 8.08 8.08 8.25 8.15
159  Laos Authoritarian 1.77 1.77 2.14 2.37 2.37 2.37 2.21 2.21 2.21 2.32 2.10 2.10 2.10 2.10
39  Malaysia Flawed democracy 7.24 7.19 7.16 6.88 6.54 6.54 6.43 6.49 6.49 6.41 6.19 6.19 6.36 5.98
62  Mongolia Flawed democracy 6.42 6.48 6.50 6.50 6.50 6.62 6.62 6.62 6.51 6.35 6.23 6.36 6.60 6.60
166  Myanmar Authoritarian 1.02 3.04 3.55 3.83 3.83 4.20 4.14 3.05 2.76 2.35 1.77 1.77 1.77 1.77
101    Nepal Hybrid regime 4.41 5.22 5.28 5.18 5.18 4.86 4.77 4.77 4.77 4.16 4.24 4.24 4.05 3.42
2  New Zealand Full democracy 9.37 9.25 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.26 9.19 9.01
165  North Korea Authoritarian 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 1.08 0.86 1.03
104  Pakistan Hybrid regime 4.31 4.31 4.25 4.17 4.26 4.33 4.40 4.64 4.64 4.57 4.55 4.55 4.46 3.92
69  Papua New Guinea Flawed democracy 6.10 6.10 6.03 6.03 6.03 6.03 6.03 6.03 6.36 6.32 6.32 6.54 6.54 6.54
54  Philippines Flawed democracy 6.62 6.56 6.64 6.71 6.71 6.94 6.84 6.77 6.41 6.30 6.12 6.12 6.12 6.48
66  Singapore Flawed democracy 6.23 6.03 6.02 6.38 6.32 6.38 6.14 6.03 5.92 5.88 5.89 5.89 5.89 5.89
16  South Korea Full democracy 8.16 8.01 8.00 8.00 8.00 7.92 7.97 8.06 8.06 8.13 8.06 8.11 8.01 7.88
67  Sri Lanka Flawed democracy 6.14 6.14 6.27 6.19 6.48 6.48 6.42 5.69 5.69 5.75 6.58 6.64 6.61 6.58
8  Taiwan Full democracy 8.99 8.94 7.73 7.73 7.73 7.79 7.83 7.65 7.57 7.57 7.46 7.52 7.82 7.82
72  Thailand Flawed democracy 6.04 6.04 6.32 4.63 4.63 4.92 5.09 5.39 6.25 6.55 6.55 6.55 6.81 5.67
43  East Timor Flawed democracy 7.06 7.06 7.19 7.19 7.19 7.24 7.24 7.24 7.24 7.16 7.22 7.22 7.22 6.41
131  Vietnam Authoritarian 2.94 2.94 3.08 3.08 3.08 3.38 3.53 3.41 3.29 2.89 2.96 2.94 2.53 2.75
Middle East and North Africa 113  Algeria Authoritarian 3.77 3.77 4.01 3.50 3.56 3.56 3.95 3.83 3.83 3.83 3.44 3.44 3.32 3.17
144  Bahrain Authoritarian 2.52 2.49 2.55 2.71 2.71 2.79 2.79 2.87 2.87 2.53 2.92 3.49 3.38 3.53
132  Egypt Authoritarian 2.93 2.93 3.06 3.36 3.36 3.31 3.18 3.16 3.27 4.56 3.95 3.07 3.89 3.90
154  Iran Authoritarian 1.95 2.20 2.38 2.45 2.45 2.34 2.16 1.98 1.98 1.98 1.98 1.94 2.83 2.93
116  Iraq Authoritarian 3.51 3.62 3.74 4.06 4.09 4.08 4.08 4.23 4.10 4.10 4.03 4.00 4.00 4.01
23  Israel Flawed democracy 7.97 7.84 7.86 7.79 7.79 7.85 7.77 7.63 7.53 7.53 7.53 7.48 7.48 7.28
118  Jordan Authoritarian 3.49 3.62 3.93 3.93 3.87 3.96 3.86 3.76 3.76 3.76 3.89 3.74 3.93 3.92
110  Kuwait Authoritarian 3.91 3.80 3.93 3.85 3.85 3.85 3.85 3.78 3.78 3.78 3.74 3.88 3.39 3.09
111  Lebanon Authoritarian 3.84 4.16 4.36 4.63 4.72 4.86 4.86 5.12 5.05 5.05 5.32 5.82 5.62 5.82
154  Libya Authoritarian 1.95 1.95 2.02 2.19 2.32 2.25 2.25 3.80 4.82 5.15 3.55 1.94 2.00 1.84
95  Morocco Hybrid regime 5.04 5.04 5.10 4.99 4.87 4.77 4.66 4.00 4.07 4.07 3.83 3.79 3.88 3.90
130  Oman Authoritarian 3.00 3.00 3.06 3.04 3.04 3.04 3.04 3.15 3.26 3.26 3.26 2.86 2.98 2.77
109  Palestine Authoritarian 3.94 3.83 3.89 4.39 4.46 4.49 4.57 4.72 4.80 4.80 4.97 5.44 5.83 6.01
114  Qatar Authoritarian 3.65 3.24 3.19 3.19 3.19 3.18 3.18 3.18 3.18 3.18 3.18 3.09 2.92 2.78
152  Saudi Arabia Authoritarian 2.08 2.08 1.93 1.93 1.93 1.93 1.93 1.82 1.82 1.71 1.77 1.84 1.90 1.92
145  Sudan Authoritarian 2.47 2.54 2.70 2.15 2.15 2.37 2.37 2.54 2.54 2.38 2.38 2.42 2.81 2.90
162  Syria Authoritarian 1.43 1.43 1.43 1.43 1.43 1.43 1.43 1.74 1.86 1.63 1.99 2.31 2.18 2.36
75  Tunisia Hybrid regime 5.99 6.59 6.72 6.41 6.32 6.40 6.72 6.31 5.76 5.67 5.53 2.79 2.96 3.06
134  United Arab Emirates Authoritarian 2.90 2.70 2.76 2.76 2.69 2.75 2.75 2.64 2.52 2.58 2.58 2.52 2.60 2.42
154  Yemen Authoritarian 1.95 1.95 1.95 1.95 2.07 2.07 2.24 2.79 2.79 3.12 2.57 2.64 2.95 2.98
Sub-Saharan Africa 122  Angola Authoritarian 3.37 3.66 3.72 3.62 3.62 3.40 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.32 3.32 3.35 2.41
106  Benin Hybrid regime 4.19 4.58 5.09 5.74 5.61 5.67 5.72 5.65 5.87 6.00 6.06 6.17 6.06 6.16
30  Botswana Flawed democracy 7.73 7.62 7.81 7.81 7.81 7.87 7.87 7.87 7.98 7.85 7.63 7.63 7.47 7.60
111  Burkina Faso Authoritarian 3.84 3.73 4.04 4.75 4.75 4.70 4.70 4.09 4.15 3.52 3.59 3.59 3.60 3.72
149  Burundi Authoritarian 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.33 2.33 2.40 2.49 3.33 3.41 3.60 4.01 4.01 4.51 4.51
32  Cape Verde Flawed democracy 7.65 7.65 7.78 7.88 7.88 7.94 7.81 7.81 7.92 7.92 7.92 7.94 7.81 7.43
143  Cameroon Authoritarian 2.56 2.77 2.85 3.28 3.61 3.46 3.66 3.41 3.41 3.44 3.41 3.41 3.46 3.27
162  Central African Republic Authoritarian 1.43 1.32 1.32 1.52 1.52 1.61 1.57 1.49 1.49 1.99 1.82 1.82 1.86 1.61
160  Chad Authoritarian 1.67 1.55 1.61 1.61 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.62 1.62 1.52 1.52 1.65
126  Comoros Authoritarian 3.20 3.09 3.15 3.71 3.71 3.71 3.71 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.52 3.41 3.58 3.90
137  Republic of the Congo Authoritarian 2.79 3.11 3.11 3.31 3.25 2.91 2.91 2.89 2.89 2.89 2.89 2.89 2.94 3.19
105  Ivory Coast Hybrid regime 4.22 4.11 4.05 4.15 3.93 3.81 3.31 3.53 3.25 3.25 3.08 3.02 3.27 3.38
164  Democratic Republic of the Congo Authoritarian 1.40 1.13 1.13 1.49 1.61 1.93 2.11 1.75 1.83 1.92 2.15 2.15 2.28 2.76
139  Djibouti Authoritarian 2.74 2.71 2.77 2.87 2.76 2.83 2.90 2.99 2.96 2.74 2.68 2.20 2.37 2.37
158  Equatorial Guinea Authoritarian 1.92 1.92 1.92 1.92 1.81 1.70 1.77 1.66 1.77 1.83 1.77 1.84 2.19 2.09
153  Eritrea Authoritarian 2.03 2.15 2.37 2.37 2.37 2.37 2.37 2.44 2.40 2.40 2.34 2.31 2.31 2.31
128  Eswatini Authoritarian 3.08 3.08 3.14 3.03 3.03 3.03 3.09 3.09 3.20 3.20 3.26 2.90 3.04 2.93
123  Ethiopia Authoritarian 3.30 3.38 3.44 3.35 3.42 3.60 3.83 3.72 3.83 3.72 3.79 3.68 4.52 4.72
121  Gabon Authoritarian 3.40 3.54 3.61 3.61 3.61 3.74 3.76 3.76 3.76 3.56 3.48 3.29 3.00 2.72
101  Gambia Hybrid regime 4.41 4.49 4.33 4.31 4.06 2.91 2.97 3.05 3.31 3.31 3.38 3.38 4.19 4.39
56  Ghana Flawed democracy 6.50 6.50 6.63 6.63 6.69 6.75 6.86 6.33 6.33 6.02 6.02 6.02 5.35 5.35
147  Guinea Authoritarian 2.28 3.08 3.14 3.14 3.14 3.14 3.14 3.01 2.84 2.79 2.79 2.79 2.09 2.02
138  Guinea-Bissau Authoritarian 2.75 2.63 2.63 1.98 1.98 1.98 1.93 1.93 1.26 1.43 1.99 1.99 1.99 2.00
94  Kenya Hybrid regime 5.05 5.05 5.18 5.11 5.11 5.33 5.33 5.13 5.13 4.71 4.71 4.71 4.79 5.08
64  Lesotho Flawed democracy 6.30 6.30 6.54 6.64 6.64 6.59 6.59 6.66 6.66 6.66 6.33 6.02 6.29 6.48
90  Liberia Hybrid regime 5.43 5.32 5.45 5.35 5.23 5.31 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 5.07 5.07 5.25 5.22
83  Madagascar Hybrid regime 5.70 5.70 5.64 5.22 5.11 5.07 4.85 4.42 4.32 3.93 3.93 3.94 5.57 5.82
78  Malawi Hybrid regime 5.74 5.74 5.50 5.49 5.49 5.55 5.55 5.66 6.00 6.08 5.84 5.84 5.13 4.97
119  Mali Authoritarian 3.48 3.93 4.92 5.41 5.64 5.70 5.70 5.79 5.90 5.12 6.36 6.01 5.87 5.99
108  Mauritania Hybrid regime 4.03 3.92 3.92 3.82 3.82 3.96 3.96 4.17 4.17 4.17 4.17 3.86 3.91 3.12
19  Mauritius Full democracy 8.08 8.14 8.22 8.22 8.22 8.28 8.27 8.17 8.17 8.17 8.04 8.04 8.04 8.04
116  Mozambique Authoritarian 3.51 3.51 3.65 3.85 4.02 4.02 4.60 4.66 4.77 4.88 4.90 4.90 5.49 5.28
55  Namibia Flawed democracy 6.52 6.52 6.43 6.25 6.31 6.31 6.31 6.24 6.24 6.24 6.24 6.23 6.48 6.54
125  Niger Authoritarian 3.22 3.29 3.29 3.76 3.76 3.96 4.62 4.02 4.08 4.16 4.16 3.38 3.41 3.54
107  Nigeria Hybrid regime 4.11 4.10 4.12 4.44 4.44 4.50 3.85 3.76 3.77 3.77 3.83 3.47 3.53 3.52
127  Rwanda Authoritarian 3.10 3.10 3.16 3.35 3.19 3.07 3.07 3.25 3.38 3.36 3.25 3.25 3.71 3.82
88  Senegal Hybrid regime 5.53 5.67 5.81 6.15 6.15 6.21 6.08 6.15 6.15 6.09 5.51 5.27 5.37 5.37
97  Sierra Leone Hybrid regime 4.97 4.86 4.86 4.66 4.66 4.55 4.55 4.56 4.64 4.71 4.51 4.51 4.11 3.57
44  South Africa Flawed democracy 7.05 7.05 7.24 7.24 7.24 7.41 7.56 7.82 7.90 7.79 7.79 7.79 7.91 7.91
92  Tanzania Hybrid regime 5.10 5.10 5.16 5.41 5.47 5.76 5.58 5.77 5.77 5.88 5.64 5.64 5.28 5.18
136  Togo Authoritarian 2.80 2.80 3.30 3.10 3.05 3.32 3.41 3.45 3.45 3.45 3.45 3.45 2.43 1.75
100  Uganda Hybrid regime 4.48 4.94 5.02 5.20 5.09 5.26 5.22 5.22 5.22 5.16 5.13 5.05 5.03 5.14
79  Zambia Hybrid regime 5.72 4.86 5.09 5.61 5.68 5.99 6.28 6.39 6.26 6.26 6.19 5.68 5.25 5.25
133  Zimbabwe Authoritarian 2.92 3.16 3.16 3.16 3.16 3.05 3.05 2.78 2.67 2.67 2.68 2.64 2.53 2.62

Components[edit]

The following table shows the five parameters that made up the score of each nation in 2021 and the changes that had occurred since 2020.

Year 2021
Rank Δ Rank Country Regime type Overall score Δ Score Elec­toral pro­cess
and plura­lism
Func­tioning
of govern­ment
Poli­tical
partici­pation
Poli­tical
cul­ture
Civil
liber­ties
Full democracies
1 Steady  Norway Full democracy 9.75 Decrease 0.06 10.00 9.64 10.00 10.00 9.12
2 Increase 2  New Zealand Full democracy 9.37 Increase 0.12 10.00 8.93 8.89 8.75 9.71
3 Increase 3  Finland Full democracy 9.27 Increase 0.07 10.00 9.29 8.89 8.75 9.41
4 Decrease 1  Sweden Full democracy 9.26 Steady 9.58 9.29 8.33 10.00 9.12
5 Decrease 3  Iceland Full democracy 9.18 Decrease 0.19 10.00 8.21 8.89 9.38 9.41
6 Increase 1  Denmark Full democracy 9.09 Decrease 0.06 10.00 8.93 8.33 9.38 8.82
7 Increase 1  Ireland Full democracy 9.00 Decrease 0.05 10.00 7.86 8.33 9.38 9.41
8 Increase 3  Taiwan Full democracy 8.99 Increase 0.05 10.00 9.64 7.78 8.13 9.41
9 Steady  Australia Full democracy 8.90 Decrease 0.06 10.00 8.57 7.78 8.75 9.71
9 Increase 2   Switzerland Full democracy 8.90 Increase 0.07 9.58 8.93 7.78 9.38 8.82
11 Decrease 1  Netherlands Full democracy 8.88 Decrease 0.08 9.58 8.93 8.33 8.75 8.82
12 Decrease 7  Canada Full democracy 8.87 Decrease 0.37 10.00 8.21 8.89 8.13 9.12
13 Increase 2  Uruguay Full democracy 8.85 Increase 0.24 10.00 8.57 7.22 8.75 9.71
14 Decrease 1  Luxembourg Full democracy 8.68 Steady 10.00 8.57 6.67 8.75 9.41
15 Decrease 1  Germany Full democracy 8.67 Steady 9.58 8.21 8.33 8.13 9.12
16 Increase 7  South Korea Full democracy 8.16 Increase 0.15 9.58 8.57 7.22 7.50 7.94
17 Increase 3  Japan Full democracy 8.15 Increase 0.02 9.17 8.57 6.67 8.13 8.24
18 Decrease 2  United Kingdom Full democracy 8.10 Decrease 0.44 9.58 7.50 8.33 6.25 8.82
19 Decrease 2  Mauritius Full democracy 8.08 Decrease 0.06 9.17 7.86 6.11 8.75 8.53
20 Decrease 2  Austria Full democracy 8.07 Decrease 0.09 9.58 6.79 8.89 6.88 8.24
20 Decrease 2  Costa Rica Full democracy 8.07 Decrease 0.09 9.58 6.43 7.78 6.88 9.71
Flawed democracies
22 Increase 2  France Flawed democracy 7.99 Steady 9.58 7.50 7.78 6.88 8.24
23 Increase 4  Israel Flawed democracy 7.97 Increase 0.13 9.58 7.50 10.00 6.88 5.88
24 Decrease 2  Spain Flawed democracy 7.94 Decrease 0.18 9.58 7.14 7.22 7.50 8.24
25 Decrease 8  Chile Flawed democracy 7.92 Decrease 0.36 9.58 7.86 5.56 7.50 9.12
26 Decrease 1  United States Flawed democracy 7.85 Decrease 0.07 9.17 6.43 8.89 6.25 8.53
27 Steady  Estonia Flawed democracy 7.84 Steady 9.58 7.86 6.67 6.88 8.24
28 Decrease 2  Portugal Flawed democracy 7.82 Decrease 0.08 9.58 7.14 6.67 6.88 8.82
29 Increase 1  Czech Republic Flawed democracy 7.74 Increase 0.07 9.58 6.43 6.67 7.50 8.53
30 Increase 3  Botswana Flawed democracy 7.73 Increase 0.11 9.17 6.79 6.67 7.50 8.53
31 Decrease 2  Italy Flawed democracy 7.68 Decrease 0.06 9.58 6.43 7.22 7.50 7.65
32 Steady  Cape Verde Flawed democracy 7.65 Decrease 0.13 9.17 7.00 6.67 6.88 8.53
33 Decrease 3  Malta Flawed democracy 7.57 Decrease 0.11 9.17 6.79 5.56 8.13 8.24
34 Increase 2  Greece Flawed democracy 7.56 Increase 0.17 9.58 6.07 6.11 7.50 8.53
35 Steady  Slovenia Flawed democracy 7.54 Increase 0.04 9.58 6.43 7.22 6.25 8.24
36 Steady  Belgium Flawed democracy 7.51 Steady 9.58 7.86 5.00 6.88 8.24
37 Decrease 3  Cyprus Flawed democracy 7.43 Decrease 0.13 9.17 5.36 7.22 6.88 8.24
38 Steady  Latvia Flawed democracy 7.31 Increase 0.07 9.58 6.07 6.67 6.25 8.53
39 Increase 4  Malaysia Flawed democracy 7.24 Increase 0.05 9.58 7.86 7.22 6.25 5.29
40 Increase 3  Lithuania Flawed democracy 7.18 Increase 0.05 9.58 6.07 5.56 5.63 8.53
41 Steady  Trinidad and Tobago Flawed democracy 7.16 Steady 9.58 7.14 6.11 5.63 7.35
42 Steady  Jamaica Flawed democracy 7.13 Steady 8.75 7.14 5.00 6.25 8.53
43 Increase 1  East Timor Flawed democracy 7.06 Steady 9.58 5.93 5.56 6.88 7.35
44 Increase 1  South Africa Flawed democracy 7.05 Steady 7.42 7.14 8.33 5.00 7.35
45 Increase 2  Slovakia Flawed democracy 7.03 Increase 0.06 9.58 6.43 5.56 5.63 7.94
46 Increase 7  India Flawed democracy 6.91 Increase 0.30 8.67 7.50 7.72 5.00 6.18
47 Increase 2  Brazil Flawed democracy 6.86 Decrease 0.06 9.58 5.36 6.11 5.63 7.65
48 Decrease 8  Panama Flawed democracy 6.85 Decrease 0.33 9.58 6.43 7.22 5.00 7.65
49 Increase 2  Suriname Flawed democracy 6.82 Increase 0.03 9.58 6.07 6.11 5.00 7.35
50 Decrease 2  Argentina Flawed democracy 6.81 Decrease 0.14 9.17 5.00 7.22 5.00 7.65
51 Decrease 1  Poland Flawed democracy 6.80 Decrease 0.05 9.17 6.07 6.67 5.63 6.47
52 Increase 13  Indonesia Flawed democracy 6.71 Increase 0.41 7.92 7.86 7.22 4.38 6.18
53 Decrease 1  Bulgaria Flawed democracy 6.64 Decrease 0.07 9.17 5.36 7.22 5.63 7.06
54 Increase 1  Philippines Flawed democracy 6.56 Increase 0.06 9.17 5.00 7.78 4.38 6.76
55 Increase 3  Namibia Flawed democracy 6.52 Steady 7.00 5.36 6.67 5.63 7.94
56 Increase 3  Croatia Flawed democracy 6.50 Steady 9.17 6.07 6.11 4.38 6.76
56 Increase 3  Ghana Flawed democracy 6.50 Steady 8.33 5.36 6.67 6.25 5.88
56 Decrease 2  Hungary Flawed democracy 6.50 Decrease 0.06 8.33 6.43 5.00 6.25 6.76
59 Decrease 13  Colombia Flawed democracy 6.48 Decrease 0.56 9.17 5.71 6.11 3.75 7.65
60 Increase 3  Dominican Republic Flawed democracy 6.45 Increase 0.12 9.17 5.00 6.67 4.38 7.06
61 Increase 1  Romania Flawed democracy 6.43 Increase 0.03 9.17 6.07 6.11 3.75 7.06
62 Decrease 1  Mongolia Flawed democracy 6.42 Decrease 0.06 8.75 5.71 6.11 5.63 5.88
63 Increase 3  Serbia Flawed democracy 6.36 Increase 0.14 8.25 5.36 6.67 3.75 7.06
64 Steady  Lesotho Flawed democracy 6.30 Steady 9.17 4.14 6.11 5.63 6.47
65 Increase 10  Guyana Flawed democracy 6.25 Increase 0.24 6.92 6.07 5.56 5.63 7.06
66 Increase 8  Singapore Flawed democracy 6.23 Increase 0.20 4.83 8.21 4.44 7.50 6.18
67 Increase 1  Sri Lanka Flawed democracy 6.14 Steady 7.00 5.71 5.56 6.25 6.18
68 Increase 3  Albania Flawed democracy 6.11 Increase 0.03 7.00 6.43 4.44 5.63 7.06
69 Increase 11  Moldova Flawed democracy 6.10 Increase 0.32 7.00 5.71 6.67 4.38 6.76
69 Increase 4  Papua New Guinea Flawed democracy 6.10 Increase 0.07 6.92 6.07 3.89 6.25 7.35
71 Decrease 14  Peru Flawed democracy 6.09 Decrease 0.44 8.75 5.36 5.56 3.75 7.06
72 Steady  Thailand Flawed democracy 6.04 Steady 7.00 5.00 6.67 6.25 5.29
73 Increase 5  North Macedonia Flawed democracy 6.03 Increase 0.14 7.42 6.43 6.11 3.13 7.06
74 Increase 7  Montenegro Flawed democracy 6.02 Increase 0.25 7.42 6.43 6.67 3.13 6.47
Hybrid regimes
75 Increase 1  Bangladesh Hybrid regime 5.99 Steady 7.42 6.07 5.56 5.63 5.29
75 Decrease 21  Tunisia Hybrid regime 5.99 Decrease 0.60 7.50 4.64 7.22 5.00 5.59
77 Decrease 10  Paraguay Hybrid regime 5.86 Decrease 0.32 8.75 5.36 5.00 3.13 7.06
78 Increase 4  Malawi Hybrid regime 5.74 Steady 7.00 4.29 5.00 6.25 6.18
79 Decrease 6  El Salvador Hybrid regime 5.72 Decrease 0.18 9.17 3.93 5.56 3.75 6.18
79 Increase 20  Zambia Hybrid regime 5.72 Increase 0.63 7.50 3.64 5.00 6.88 5.59
81 Increase 3  Bhutan Hybrid regime 5.71 Steady 8.75 6.79 3.33 5.00 4.71
81 Decrease 12  Ecuador Hybrid regime 5.71 Decrease 0.42 8.75 5.00 6.11 2.50 6.18
83 Steady  Madagascar Hybrid regime 5.70 Steady 7.92 3.57 6.67 5.63 4.71
84 Decrease 1  Fiji Hybrid regime 5.61 Decrease 0.11 6.58 5.00 5.56 5.63 5.29
85 Increase 2  Hong Kong Hybrid regime 5.60 Increase 0.03 2.75 3.64 5.56 7.50 8.53
86 Decrease 14  Mexico Hybrid regime 5.57 Decrease 0.50 6.92 5.00 6.11 2.50 6.18
86 Decrease 9  Ukraine Hybrid regime 5.57 Decrease 0.24 8.25 2.71 7.22 5.00 5.88
88 Decrease 2  Senegal Hybrid regime 5.53 Decrease 0.14 5.67 5.71 4.44 6.25 5.59
89 Steady  Armenia Hybrid regime 5.49 Increase 0.14 7.50 5.00 6.11 3.13 5.00
90 Steady  Liberia Hybrid regime 5.43 Increase 0.11 7.42 2.71 5.56 5.63 5.29
91 Steady  Georgia Hybrid regime 5.12 Decrease 0.19 7.83 3.57 6.11 3.75 5.29
92 Decrease 4  Honduras Hybrid regime 5.10 Decrease 0.26 8.75 3.93 4.44 2.50 5.88
93 Steady  Tanzania Hybrid regime 5.10 Steady 4.83 5.00 5.00 6.25 4.41
94 Steady  Kenya Hybrid regime 5.05 Steady 3.50 5.36 6.67 5.63 4.12
95 Increase 6  Bosnia and Herzegovina Hybrid regime 5.04 Increase 0.20 7.00 3.29 5.56 3.75 5.29
95 Steady  Morocco Hybrid regime 5.04 Steady 5.25 4.64 5.56 5.63 4.12
97 Increase 3  Sierra Leone Hybrid regime 4.97 Increase 0.11 6.58 2.86 3.89 6.25 5.29
98 Decrease 4  Bolivia Hybrid regime 4.65 Decrease 0.43 4.75 4.29 6.11 2.50 5.88
99 Decrease 2  Guatemala Hybrid regime 4.62 Decrease 0.35 6.92 3.93 3.89 2.50 5.88
100 Decrease 2  Uganda Hybrid regime 4.48 Decrease 0.46 3.42 3.21 3.89 6.88 5.00
101 Increase 2  Gambia Hybrid regime 4.41 Increase 0.08 3.58 4.29 4.44 5.63 4.12
101 Decrease 10    Nepal Hybrid regime 4.41 Decrease 0.81 4.83 5.00 4.44 2.50 5.29
103 Increase 1  Turkey Hybrid regime 4.35 Decrease 0.13 3.50 5.00 5.56 5.63 2.06
104 Increase 1  Pakistan Hybrid regime 4.31 Steady 5.67 5.36 3.33 2.50 4.71
105 Increase 4  Ivory Coast Hybrid regime 4.22 Increase 0.11 4.33 2.86 4.44 5.63 3.82
106 Decrease 5  Benin Hybrid regime 4.19 Decrease 0.39 1.67 5.36 3.89 5.63 4.41
107 Increase 2  Nigeria Hybrid regime 4.11 Increase 0.01 5.17 3.93 3.89 3.75 3.82
108 Increase 4  Mauritania Hybrid regime 4.03 Increase 0.11 3.50 3.57 5.56 3.13 4.41
Authoritarian regimes
109 Increase 4  Palestine Authoritarian 3.94 Increase 0.11 3.33 0.14 8.33 4.38 3.53
110 Increase 4  Kuwait Authoritarian 3.91 Increase 0.11 3.58 3.93 4.44 4.38 3.24
111 Increase 4  Burkina Faso Authoritarian 3.84 Increase 0.11 3.00 2.36 5.00 5.00 3.82
111 Decrease 4  Lebanon Authoritarian 3.84 Decrease 0.32 3.50 1.14 6.67 3.75 4.12
113 Increase 2  Algeria Authoritarian 3.77 Steady 3.08 2.50 4.44 5.00 3.82
114 Increase 12  Qatar Authoritarian 3.65 Increase 0.41 1.50 4.29 2.78 5.63 3.53
115 Decrease 8  Kyrgyzstan Authoritarian 3.62 Decrease 0.59 4.33 1.50 4.44 5.00 3.82
116 Increase 2  Iraq Authoritarian 3.51 Decrease 0.11 5.25 0.00 6.11 5.00 1.18
116 Increase 5  Mozambique Authoritarian 3.51 Steady 2.58 1.43 5.00 5.00 3.53
118 Increase 1  Jordan Authoritarian 3.49 Decrease 0.13 2.67 3.93 3.89 3.75 3.24
119 Decrease 13  Haiti Authoritarian 3.48 Decrease 0.74 3.08 0.00 2.78 6.25 5.29
119 Decrease 9  Mali Authoritarian 3.48 Decrease 0.45 2.42 0.00 5.56 5.63 3.82
121 Steady  Gabon Authoritarian 3.40 Decrease 0.14 2.17 1.86 4.44 5.00 3.53
122 Decrease 5  Angola Authoritarian 3.37 Decrease 0.29 1.33 2.86 5.00 5.00 2.65
123 Steady  Ethiopia Authoritarian 3.30 Decrease 0.08 0.42 3.21 6.11 5.00 1.76
124 Steady  Russia Authoritarian 3.24 Decrease 0.07 1.75 2.14 4.44 3.75 4.12
125 Steady  Niger Authoritarian 3.22 Decrease 0.07 2.00 1.14 3.33 4.38 4.71
126 Increase 6  Comoros Authoritarian 3.20 Increase 0.11 2.08 2.21 4.44 3.75 3.53
127 Increase 2  Rwanda Authoritarian 3.10 Steady 1.42 4.29 2.78 4.38 2.65
128 Steady  Eswatini Authoritarian 3.08 Steady 0.92 2.86 2.78 5.63 3.24
128 Steady  Kazakhstan Authoritarian 3.08 Decrease 0.06 0.50 3.21 5.00 3.75 2.94
130 Increase 6  Oman Authoritarian 3.00 Steady 0.08 3.93 2.78 4.38 3.82
131 Increase 6  Vietnam Authoritarian 2.94 Steady 0.00 2.86 3.89 5.63 2.35
132 Increase 6  Egypt Authoritarian 2.93 Steady 1.33 3.21 3.33 5.00 1.76
133 Decrease 6  Zimbabwe Authoritarian 2.92 Decrease 0.24 0.00 2.50 3.89 5.00 3.24
134 Decrease 4  Cambodia Authoritarian 2.90 Decrease 0.20 0.00 3.93 3.89 5.63 2.06
134 Increase 10  United Arab Emirates Authoritarian 2.90 Increase 0.20 0.00 4.29 2.22 5.63 2.35
136 Increase 5  Togo Authoritarian 2.80 Steady 0.92 1.79 3.33 5.00 2.94
137 Decrease 8  Republic of the Congo Authoritarian 2.79 Decrease 0.32 0.00 2.50 4.44 3.75 3.24
138 Increase 9  Guinea-Bissau Authoritarian 2.75 Increase 0.12 4.92 0.00 3.33 3.13 2.35
139 Increase 5  Djibouti Authoritarian 2.74 Increase 0.03 0.00 1.29 4.44 5.63 2.35
140 Decrease 20  Nicaragua Authoritarian 2.69 Decrease 0.91 0.00 2.50 3.33 4.38 3.24
141 Increase 5  Azerbaijan Authoritarian 2.68 Steady 0.50 2.86 3.33 3.75 2.94
142 Decrease 2  Cuba Authoritarian 2.59 Decrease 0.25 0.00 3.21 3.33 3.75 2.65
143 Decrease 1  Cameroon Authoritarian 2.56 Decrease 0.21 0.33 2.14 3.89 4.38 2.06
144 Increase 6  Bahrain Authoritarian 2.52 Increase 0.03 0.42 2.71 3.33 4.38 1.76
145 Increase 4  Sudan Authoritarian 2.47 Decrease 0.07 0.00 1.43 4.44 5.00 1.47
146 Increase 2  Belarus Authoritarian 2.41 Decrease 0.18 0.00 2.00 3.89 5.00 1.76
147 Decrease 13  Guinea Authoritarian 2.28 Decrease 0.80 1.25 0.43 3.33 3.75 2.65
148 Increase 3  China Authoritarian 2.21 Decrease 0.06 0.00 4.29 2.78 3.13 0.88
149 Increase 5  Burundi Authoritarian 2.13 Decrease 0.01 0.00 0.00 3.89 5.00 1.76
150 Increase 5  Uzbekistan Authoritarian 2.12 Steady 0.08 1.86 2.78 5.00 0.88
151 Decrease 8  Venezuela Authoritarian 2.11 Decrease 0.65 0.00 1.79 3.89 2.50 2.35
152 Steady  Saudi Arabia Authoritarian 2.08 Steady 0.00 3.57 2.22 3.13 1.47
153 Steady  Eritrea Authoritarian 2.03 Decrease 0.12 0.00 2.14 0.56 6.88 0.59
154 Increase 3  Libya Authoritarian 1.95 Steady 0.00 0.00 3.33 3.75 2.65
154 Decrease 1  Iran Authoritarian 1.95 Decrease 0.25 0.00 2.50 3.89 1.88 1.47
154 Steady  Yemen Authoritarian 1.95 Steady 0.00 0.00 3.89 5.00 0.88
157 Increase 2  Tajikistan Authoritarian 1.94 Steady 0.00 2.21 2.22 4.38 0.88
158 Increase 2  Equatorial Guinea Authoritarian 1.92 Steady 0.00 0.43 3.33 4.38 1.47
159 Increase 2  Laos Authoritarian 1.77 Steady 0.00 2.86 1.67 3.75 0.59
160 Increase 1  Chad Authoritarian 1.67 Increase 0.12 0.00 0.00 2.22 3.75 2.35
161 Increase 1  Turkmenistan Authoritarian 1.66 Decrease 0.06 0.00 0.79 2.22 5.00 0.29
162 Increase 2  Syria Authoritarian 1.43 Steady 0.00 0.00 2.78 4.38 0.00
162 Increase 2  Central African Republic Authoritarian 1.43 Increase 0.11 1.25 0.00 1.67 1.88 2.35
164 Increase 2  Democratic Republic of the Congo Authoritarian 1.40 Increase 0.27 0.75 0.00 2.22 3.13 0.88
165 Increase 2  North Korea Authoritarian 1.08 Steady 0.00 2.50 1.67 1.25 0.00
166 Decrease 31  Myanmar Authoritarian 1.02 Decrease 2.04 0.00 0.00 1.67 3.13 0.29
167 Decrease 28  Afghanistan Authoritarian 0.32 Decrease 2.53 0.00 0.07 0.00 1.25 0.29

Recent changes[edit]

In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy;[17] its score, which had been declining for some years, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016. The report stated that this was caused by myriad factors dating back to at least the late 1960s which have eroded Americans' trust in governmental institutions.[18][19]

The 2017 Democracy Index registered, at the time, 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. In China, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), further entrenched his power by writing his contribution to the CCP'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 as a result of constitutional changes that shifted power from the presidency to parliament.[10] In 2017, the Gambia was upgraded again 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 democracies to full democracies. In fact, this was not a new experience for the former two, which suffered from the eurozone crisis many years before. By contrast, Malta was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy. Thailand and Albania were upgraded from hybrid regimes to flawed democracies.[12] Algeria was upgraded again from an authoritarian regime to a hybrid regime.

In 2020, Taiwan was upgraded from flawed democracy to full democracy following reforms in the judiciary,[20] and soared to 11th position from its previous position at 33. Japan and South Korea were also upgraded again to a full democracy, while France and Portugal were once again relegated to flawed democracies. Hong Kong was downgraded from a flawed democracy to a hybrid regime. Algeria was downgraded again from a hybrid regime to an authoritarian regime. The Economist Intelligence Unit noted that democracy "was dealt a major blow in 2020".[13] Almost 70% of countries covered by the Democracy Index recorded a decline in their overall score, as most of them imposed lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to some arresting journalists and citizens accused of spreading COVID-19 misinformation. The global average score fell to its lowest level since the index began in 2006.

In 2021, both the global and regional average scores continued downward trends, with the exception of the Central and Eastern Europe region. Spain and Chile were downgraded from full democracies to flawed democracies, while Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, and Tunisia were downgraded from flawed democracies to hybrid regimes. Haiti, Lebanon, and Kyrgyzstan were downgraded from hybrid regimes to authoritarian regimes. In addition, Moldova, Montenegro, and North Macedonia were upgraded from hybrid regimes to flawed democracies, whereas Mauritania was upgraded from authoritarian to hybrid regime. For the first time, two countries displaced North Korea as the lowest-ranked states in the Democracy Index. In Myanmar, the elected government was overthrown in a military coup, and protests were suppressed by the junta; thus, its score went down by 2.02 points. Afghanistan, as a result of the 2021 Taliban offensive and subsequent takeover of government, registered the lowest score of any state ever recorded on the Democracy Index at 0.32.

Criticism[edit]

Investment analyst Peter Tasker has criticised the Democracy Index 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.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Democracy Index 2006" (PDF). The World in 2007. 15 November 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Democracy Index 2008" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 21 October 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 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. ^ "Democracy Index 2011: Democracy under stress". Economist Intelligence Unit. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Democracy Index 2013: Democracy in limbo". The Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ a b "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.
  11. ^ "Democracy Index 2018: Me Too?". The Economist Intelligence Unit. 8 January 2019. Archived from the original on 2 February 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Democracy Index 2019 A year of democratic setbacks and popular protest". EIU.com. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Democracy Index 2020: In sickness and in health?". EIU.com. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Democracy Index 2021: the China challenge". EIU.com. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  15. ^ Manaev, Oleg; Manayeva, Natalie; Dzmitry, Yuran (1 December 2011). "More State than Nation: Lukashenko's Belarus". Journal of International Affairs. 65 (1): 93–113. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Democracy Index 2021: the China challenge" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Declining trust in government is denting democracy". The Economist. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 14 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Taiwan most democratic country in East Asia: The Economist". 3 February 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  21. ^ Tasker, Peter (25 February 2016). "Peter Tasker: The flawed 'science' behind democracy rankings". asia.nikkei.com. Archived from the original on 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-22.

External links[edit]