Freedom in the World

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Country ratings from Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2018 survey, concerning the state of world freedom in 2017[1]
  Free   Partially Free   Not Free
   Countries designated "electoral democracies" in Freedom House's 2019 survey "Freedom in the World", covering the year 2018[2][3][4]

Freedom in the World is a yearly survey and report by the U.S.-based[5] non-governmental organization Freedom House that measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights in every nation and significant related and disputed territories around the world.

Origin and use[edit]

Freedom in the World was launched in 1973 by Raymond Gastil. It produces annual scores representing the levels of political rights and civil liberties in each state and territory, on a scale from 1 (most free) to 7 (least free). Depending on the ratings, the nations are then classified as "Free", "Part(ial)ly Free", or "Not Free".[6] The report is often used by researchers in order to measure democracy and correlates highly with several other measures of democracy such as the Polity data series.[7]

The Freedom House rankings are widely reported in the media and used as sources by political researchers. Their construction and use has been evaluated by critics and supporters.[8]

Country rankings[edit]

The rankings below are from the Freedom in the World 2010,[9] 2011,[10] 2012,[11] 2013,[12] 2014,[13] 2015,[14] 2016,[15] 2017[16], 2018[17], and 2019[18] surveys, each reflecting findings covering the previous year. Each pair of political rights and civil liberties ratings is averaged to determine an overall status of "Free" (1.0–2.5), "Part(ial)ly Free" (3.0–5.0), or "Not Free" (5.5–7.0).[19]

An asterisk (*) indicates countries which are "electoral democracies". To qualify as an "electoral democracy", a state must have satisfied the following criteria:

  1. A competitive, multiparty political system;
  2. Adult suffrage for all citizens without criminal convictions (some states may further punish and subjugate people with criminal convictions by disenfranchising them from the democratic process);
  3. Regularly contested elections conducted in conditions of ballot secrecy, reasonable ballot security, and the absence of massive voter fraud that yields results that are unrepresentative of the public will; and
  4. Significant public access of major political parties to the electorate through the media and through generally open political campaigning.

An electoral democracy must have a score of 7 or more out of 12 in political rights subcategory A (Electoral Progress), an overall aggregate score of 20 in their political rights rating and an overall aggregate score of 30 in their civil liberties rating.[20]

Freedom House's term "electoral democracy" differs from "liberal democracy" in that the latter also implies the presence of a substantial array of civil liberties. In the survey, all Free countries qualify as both electoral and liberal democracies. By contrast, some Partly Free countries qualify as electoral, but not liberal, democracies.[19]

World[edit]

*: Electoral democracies (as described above), PR: Political Rights, CL: Civil Liberties
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free Pts PR CL Free Pts
 Afghanistan 5 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 6 Not 26 5 6 Not 27
 Albania* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 68 3 3 Partly 68
 Algeria 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 35 6 5 Not 34
 Andorra* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 Angola 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 26 6 5 Not 31
 Antigua and Barbuda* 2 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Argentina* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 83 2 2 Free 84
 Armenia Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 44 4 4 Partly 51
 Australia* Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 98 1 1 Free 98
 Austria* Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 93 1 1 Free 93
 Azerbaijan Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 12 7 6 Not 11
 Bahamas* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 91
 Bahrain 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 12 7 6 Not 12
 Bangladesh 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 45 5 5 Partly 41
 Barbados* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 96
 Belarus 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 6 6 Not 21 7 6 Not 19
 Belgium* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 95 1 1 Free 96
 Belize* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 86 1 2 Free 86
 Benin* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 81 2 2 Free 79
 Bhutan* 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 55 3 4 Partly 59
 Bolivia* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 67 3 3 Partly 67
 Bosnia and Herzegovina* 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 55 4 4 Partly 53
 Botswana* 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 72 3 2 Free 72
 Brazil* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 78 2 2 Free 75
 Brunei 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 29
 Bulgaria* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 80 2 2 Free 80
 Burkina Faso* 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 6 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 60 4 3 Partly 60
 Burundi 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 18 7 6 Not 14
 Cambodia 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 30 6 5 Not 26
 Cameroon 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 22 6 6 Not 19
 Canada* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 99 1 1 Free 99
 Cape Verde* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 90 1 1 Free 90
 Central African Republic 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 9 7 7 Not 9
 Chad 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 18 7 6 Not 17
 Chile* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 China 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 14 7 6 Not 11
 Colombia* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 65 3 3 Partly 66
 Comoros 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 55 4 4 Partly 50
Democratic Republic of the Congo Congo, Democratic Republic of 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 16 7 6 Not 15
Republic of the Congo Congo, Republic of 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 20 7 5 Not 21
 Costa Rica* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 91 1 1 Free 91
 Croatia* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 86 1 2 Free 85
 Cuba 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 14 7 6 Not 14
 Cyprus* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 Czech Republic* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 93 1 1 Free 91
 Denmark* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 97 1 1 Free 97
 Djibouti 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 26 6 5 Not 26
 Dominica* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 93 1 1 Free 93
 Dominican Republic* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 67 3 3 Partly 67
 East Timor* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 69 2 3 Free 70
 Ecuador* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 60 3 3 Partly 63
 Egypt 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 26 6 6 Not 22
 El Salvador* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 70 2 3 Free 67
 Equatorial Guinea 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 7 Not 6
 Eritrea 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 3 7 7 Not 2
 Estonia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 Ethiopia 5 5 Partly 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 12 6 6 Not 19
 Fiji* 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 59 3 3 Partly 61
 Finland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 100 1 1 Free 100
 France* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 90 1 2 Free 90
 Gabon 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 7 5 Not 23 7 5 Not 23
 Gambia 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 6 6 Not 4 5 Partly 41 4 5 Partly
 Georgia* 4 4 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 64 3 3 Partly 63
 Germany* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 Ghana* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 83 1 2 Free 83
 Greece* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 85 1 2 Free 87
 Grenada* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Guatemala* 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Guinea 7 6 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 4 Partly 43
 Guinea-Bissau 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 4 Partly 42
 Guyana* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 74 2 3 Free 75
 Haiti 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 41
 Honduras 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 46
 Hungary* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 72 3 3 Partly
 Iceland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 95 1 1 Free 94
 India* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 77 2 3 Free
 Indonesia* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 4 Partly 2 4 Partly 2 4 Partly 2 4 Partly 2 4 Partly 64 2 4 Partly
 Iran 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 17 6 6 Not
 Iraq 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 31 5 6 Not
 Ireland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 96 1 1 Free 97
 Israel* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 3 Free 79 2 3 Free 78
 Italy* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free 2 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 89 1 1 Free 89
 Ivory Coast 6 5 Not 7 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 5 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 51 4 4 Partly 51
 Jamaica* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 77 2 2 Free 78
 Japan* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 96 1 1 Free 96
 Jordan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 37 5 5 Partly 37
 Kazakhstan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 22 7 5 Not 22
 Kenya 4 4 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 48 4 4 Partly 48
 Kiribati* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 93 1 1 Free 93
 Kosovo* 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 52 3 4 Partly 54
 Kuwait 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 36 5 5 Partly 36
 Kyrgyzstan 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 37 5 4 Partly 38
 Laos 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 12 7 6 Not 14
 Latvia* 2 1 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 87 2 2 Free 87
 Lebanon 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 43 5 4 Partly 45
 Lesotho* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 64 3 3 Partly 63
 Liberia* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 62 3 3 Partly 62
 Libya 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 6 Not 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 9 7 6 Not 9
 Liechtenstein* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free
 Lithuania* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 91 1 1 Free 91
 Luxembourg* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 98 1 1 Free 98
 Macedonia 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 58 4 3 Partly
 Madagascar* 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 56 3 4 Partly
 Malawi* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 63 3 3 Partly
 Malaysia 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 45 4 4 Partly
 Maldives 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 35 5 5 Partly
 Mali 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 7 5 Not 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 44 4 4 Partly
 Malta* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 92 2 1 Free
 Marshall Islands* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Mauritania 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 30 6 5 Not
 Mauritius* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Mexico* 2 3 Free 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 62 3 3 Partly 63
Federated States of Micronesia Micronesia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Moldova* 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 61 3 4 Partly
 Monaco* 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 3 1 Free 3 1 Free 3 1 Free
 Mongolia* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 85 1 2 Free 85
 Montenegro* 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 67 4 3 Partly
 Morocco 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 5 Partly 39 5 5 Partly
 Mozambique 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 52 4 4 Partly
 Myanmar 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 6 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 31 5 5 Partly 30
 Namibia* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 77 3 2 Free 75
 Nauru* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
   Nepal 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 55 3 4 Partly 54
 Netherlands* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 99 1 1 Free 99
 New Zealand* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 98 1 1 Free 98
 Nicaragua 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 54 6 5 Not 32
 Niger 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 50 4 4 Partly 49
 Nigeria 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 3 5 Partly 3 5 Partly 50 3 5 Partly 50
 North Korea 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 3 7 7 Not 3
 Norway* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 100 1 1 Free 100
 Oman 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 23 6 5 Not 23
 Pakistan 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 43 5 5 Partly 39
 Palau* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Panama* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 83 1 2 Free
 Papua New Guinea* 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 63 4 3 Partly
 Paraguay* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 64 3 3 Partly
 Peru* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 73 2 3 Free 73
 Philippines* 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 62 3 3 Partly 61
 Poland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 85 2 2 Free 84
 Portugal* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 97 1 1 Free 96
 Qatar 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 25
 Romania* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 81
 Russia 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 20 7 6 Not 20
 Rwanda 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Saint Kitts and Nevis* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 2 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Saint Lucia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines* 2 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Samoa* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 San Marino* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 São Tomé and Príncipe* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Saudi Arabia 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 7 Not
 Senegal* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 3 Free
 Serbia* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 74 3 3 Partly
 Seychelles* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Sierra Leone* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 66 3 3 Partly
 Singapore 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 52 4 4 Partly
 Slovakia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 89 1 2 Free 88
 Slovenia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 Solomon Islands* 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 72 2 2 Free
 Somalia 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 7 Not
 South Africa* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 78 2 2 Free
 South Korea* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 84 2 2 Free 83
 South Sudan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 2 7 7 Not
 Spain* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 94
 Sri Lanka* 4 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 5 Partly 4 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 55 3 4 Partly
 Sudan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 8 7 7 Not
 Suriname* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 2 Free 78 2 3 Free
 Eswatini 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 6 Not 16 7 6 Not
 Sweden* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 100 1 1 Free 100
  Switzerland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 96 1 1 Free 96
 Syria 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not -1 7 7 Not 0
 Taiwan* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 93 1 1 Free 93
 Tajikistan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 11 7 6 Not 9
 Tanzania 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 52 4 5 Partly 45
 Thailand 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 31 7 5 Not 30
 Togo 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 47 5 4 Partly 43
 Tonga* 5 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 74 2 2 Free 79
 Trinidad and Tobago* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 81 2 2 Free 82
 Tunisia* 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 1 3 Free 1 3 Free 1 3 Free 2 3 Free 70 2 3 Free 69
 Turkey 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 5 6 Not 32 5 6 Not 31
 Turkmenistan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 4 7 7 Not 2
 Tuvalu* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 93
 Uganda 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 4 Partly 37 6 5 Not 36
 Ukraine* 3 2 Free 3 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 62 3 4 Partly 60
 United Arab Emirates 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 17 7 6 Not 17
 United Kingdom* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 94 1 1 Free 93
 United States* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 2 1 Free 86 2 1 Free 86
 Uruguay* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 98 1 1 Free 98
 Uzbekistan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 6 Not 9
 Vanuatu* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 81 2 2 Free 82
 Venezuela 5 4 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 26 7 6 Not 19
 Vietnam 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 20 7 5 Not 20
 Yemen 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 13 7 6 Not 11
 Zambia 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 55 4 4 Partly 54
 Zimbabwe 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 30 5 5 Partly 31

Related and disputed territories[edit]

Key: - Related territory, - Disputed territory, PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Abkhazia‡ (Georgia) 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 Crimea‡ (Ukraine/Russia) 3 2 Free 3 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Gaza Strip‡ (PA) 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Hong Kong† (China) 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly
 Jammu and Kashmir‡ (India) 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Azad Kashmir‡ (Pakistan) 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Nagorno-Karabakh‡ (Azerbaijan) 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly
 Northern Cyprus‡ (Cyprus)* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Puerto Rico† (United States)* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free[21]
 Somaliland‡ (Somalia) 5 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 South Ossetia‡ (Georgia) 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Tibet ‡ (China) 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Transnistria‡ (Moldova) 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 West Bank‡ (PA) 6 6 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not
 Western Sahara‡ (Morocco) 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not

Trends[edit]

According to Freedom House, a quarter of all declines of freedom in the world in 2016 took place in Europe.[22]

Percentage of countries in each category, from the 1973 through 2014 reports:

Freedom in the World graph 1973-2014.svg 1973–2014

  Not Free
  Partly Free
  Free

Year
Free
Partly
Free
Not
Free
Electoral
Democracies
1975 41 (27%) 48 (32%) 63 (41%)
1980 51 (32%) 54 (33%) 56 (35%)
1985 53 (32%) 59 (35%) 55 (33%)
1990 61 (37%) 44 (26%) 62 (37%) 69 (41%)
1995 76 (40%) 61 (32%) 54 (28%) 113 (59%)
2000 85 (44%) 60 (31%) 47 (25%) 120 (63%)
2005 89 (46%) 54 (28%) 49 (26%) 119 (62%)
2010 89 (46%) 58 (30%) 47 (24%) 116 (60%)
2011 87 (45%) 60 (31%) 47 (24%) 115 (59%)
2012 87 (45%) 60 (31%) 48 (25%) 117 (60%)
2013 90 (46%) 58 (30%) 47 (24%) 117 (60%)
2014 88 (45%) 59 (30%) 48 (25%) 122 (63%)
2015 89 (46%) 55 (28%) 51 (26%) 125 (64%)
2016 86 (44%) 59 (30%) 50 (26%) 125 (64%)
2017 87 (45%) 59 (30%) 49 (25%) 123 (63%)

Sources: Country Status and ratings overview 1973–2016,[23] Number and percentages of electoral democracies 1989–2016,[24] Freedom in the World 2018 report covering 2017.[25]

Notes:

  • The years shown in the map and table above are the year the survey was released, the data shown covers the prior calendar year.
  • The chart and table above do not include data for related/disputed territories.

Evaluation[edit]

There is some debate over the neutrality of Freedom House and the methodology used for the Freedom in the World report, which has been written by Raymond D. Gastil and his colleagues.[6] The neutrality and biases of human-rights indices have been discussed in several publications by Kenneth A. Bollen.[26] Bollen wrote that "Considered together these criticisms suggest that some nations may have been incorrectly rated on Gastil's measures. However, none of the criticisms have demonstrated a systematic bias in all the ratings. Most of the evidence consists of anecdotal evidence of relatively few cases. Whether there is a systematic or sporadic slant in Gastil's ratings is an open question" (Bollen, 1986, p. 586).[6] The freedom index of Freedom in the World has a very strong and positive (at least an 80%) correlation with three other democracy-indices studied in Mainwaring (2001, p. 53).[27]

Ideological bias or neutrality[edit]

In his 1986 study, Bollen discussed reviews of measurements of human rights, including the index reported in Freedom in the World (Bollen, 1986, p. 585). Criticisms of Freedom in the World during the 1980s were discussed by Gastil (1990), who stated that "generally such criticism is based on opinions about Freedom House rather than detailed examination of survey ratings", a conclusion disputed by Giannone.[28] The definition of Freedom in Gastil (1982) and Freedom House (1990) emphasized liberties rather than the exercise of freedom, according to Adam Przeworski, who gave the following example: In the United States, citizens are free to form political parties and to vote, yet even in presidential elections only half of U.S. "citizens" vote; in the U.S., "the same two parties speak in a commercially sponsored unison", wrote Przeworski (2003, p. 277).[8]

More recent charges of ideological bias prompted Freedom House to issue this 2010 statement:

Freedom House does not maintain a culture-bound view of freedom. The methodology of the survey is grounded in basic standards of political rights and civil liberties, derived in large measure from relevant portions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These standards apply to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.[19]

Mainwaring et alia (2001, p. 52)[27] wrote that Freedom House's index had "two systematic biases: scores for leftist were tainted by political considerations, and changes in scores are sometimes driven by changes in their criteria rather than changes in real conditions." Nonetheless, when evaluated in Latin American countries yearly, Freedom House's index was very strongly and positively correlated with the index of Adam Przeworski and with the index of the authors themselves: They evaluated Pearson's coefficient of linear correlation between their index and Freedom House's index, which was 0.82; among these indices and the two others studied, the correlations were all between 0.80 and 0.86 (Mainwaring et alia, 2001, p. 53).[27]

As previously quoted, Bollen criticized previous studies of Freedom in the World as anecdotal and inconclusive; they raised issues needing further study by scientific methods rather than anecdotes.[6] Bollen studied the question of ideological bias using multivariate statistics. Using their factor-analytic model for human-rights measurements, Bollen and Paxton estimate that Gastil's method produces a bias of -0.38 standard deviations (s.d.) against Marxist–Leninist countries and a larger bias, +0.5 s.d., favoring Christian countries; similar results held for the methodology of Sussman (Bollen and Paxton, 2000, p. 585).[29] In contrast, another method by a critic of Freedom in the World produced a bias for Leftist countries during the 1980s of at least +0.8 s.d., a bias that is "consistent with the general finding that political scientists are more favorable to leftist politics than is the general population" (Bollen and Paxton, p. 585).[29]

Use and conceptual analysis[edit]

Criticisms of the reception and uses of the Freedom in the World report have been noted by Diego Giannone:[30]

  • "Conceptual stretching", Giovanni Sartori's critical term for a methodological shortcoming common in social studies.[31] Giannone reports as an example that, according to Landman and Hausermann (2003), "the index by FH has been used as a tool for measuring democracy, good governance, and human rights, thus producing a conceptual stretching which is a major cause of 'losses in connotative precision': in short, an instrument used to measure everything, in the end, is not able to discriminate against anything."[32]
  • Issues with aggregation. Giannone quotes Scoble and Wiseberg's conclusion (1981) that "the sum of a civil liberty score of 4 and a political liberty score of 2 is the same as the sum of a civil liberty score of 2 and a political liberty score of 4 even though the substantive interpretation of these different combinations is different."[33]
  • "Lack of specificity and rigorousness in construction" and "inadequate level of transparency and replicability of the scales", the first referencing to Scoble et alie (1981) and the latter to Hadenius and Teorell (2005).[34] In support of the latter, he also quotes the conclusion of Munck and Verkuilen (2002) that "the aggregate data offered by Freedom House has to be accepted largely on faith",[35] due to the factors that "no set of coding rules is provided, and the sources of information are not identified with enough precision, and because disaggregated data have not been made available to independent scholars".[34]

Time series[edit]

In "Political and ideological aspects in the measurement of democracy: the Freedom House case" (2010) which reviewed changes to the methodology since 1990, Diego Giannone concluded that "because of the changes in methodology over time and the strict interconnection between methodological and political aspects, the FH data do not offer an unbroken and politically neutral time series, such that they should not be used for cross-time analyses even for the development of first hypotheses. The internal consistency of the data series is open to question."[36]

On this topic, the Freedom House website replies that they have "made a number of modest methodological changes to adapt to evolving ideas about political rights and civil liberties. At the same time, the time series data are not revised retroactively, and any changes to the methodology are introduced incrementally in order to ensure the comparability of the ratings from year to year."[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Freedom in The World 2018 by Freedom House, January 5, 2018
  2. ^ Democracy in Retreat: Freedom In The World 2019, by Freedom House
  3. ^ Methodology 2019, by Freedom House
  4. ^ List of Electoral Democracies FIW19 (.XLS), by Freedom House
  5. ^ William Ide (11 January 2000). "Freedom House Report: Asia Sees Some Significant Progress". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Bollen, K.A., "Political Rights and Political Liberties in Nations: An Evaluation of Human Rights Measures, 1950 to 1984", Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 4 (November 1986), pp.567–591. Also in: Jabine, T.B. and Pierre Claude, R. (Eds.), Human Rights and Statistics, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992, pp. 188–215, ISBN 0-8122-3108-2.
  7. ^ “Correlation Versus Interchangeability: the Limited Robustness of Empirical Finding on Democracy Using Highly Correlated Data Sets", Gretchen Casper and Claudiu Tufis, Political Analysis, 11:2 (2003), pp. 196–203, Society for Political Methodology
  8. ^ a b Przeworski, Adam (2003). "Freedom to choose and democracy". Economics and Philosophy. 19 (2): 265–279. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.570.736. doi:10.1017/S0266267103001159.
  9. ^ Freedom in the World 2010: Tables and Graphs Archived 15 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Freedom House, 8 January 2010, 12 pp.
  10. ^ "Tables, Graphs, and Other Supporting Documents" Archived 8 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Freedom in the World 2011, Freedom House, 13 January 2011.
  11. ^ Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House, 10 January 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  12. ^ Freedom in the World 2013, Freedom House.
  13. ^ Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House, 24 January 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  14. ^ Freedom in the World 2015, Freedom House, 28 January 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Freedom in the World 2016" (PDF). Freedom House. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Freedom in the World 2017" (PDF). Freedom House. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Freedom in the World 2018 – Table of Country Scores". Freedom House.
  18. ^ "Freedom in the World Countries | Freedom House". freedomhouse.org. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d "Freedom in the World 2010: Methodology", Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom house
  20. ^ "Methodology: Freedom in the World 2018". freedomhouse.org. 13 January 2018.
  21. ^ Puerto Rico *. Retrieved from https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2016/puerto-rico
  22. ^ Freedom House (2017). Freedom in the World, 2017 (PDF). Freedom House. p. 1. Archived from the original on 27 July 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017. [N]early one-quarter of the countries registering declines in 2016 were in Europe.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "Country Status and ratings overview", Freedom In the World 1973–2016, Freedom House. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Number and percentages of electoral democracies", Freedom In the World 1973–2016, Freedom House. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  25. ^ Freedom In the World 2018, Freedom House.
  26. ^ Bollen has held chairs as a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Howard W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Also serving as an Adjunct Professor of Statistics at UNC-CH, Bollen wrote the leading graduate textbook in structural equation models (SEM), often called LISREL models; SEM modeling allows the summary of a large number of measurements using a small number of meaningful factors. SEM was used by Bollen in the studies reported hereafter.
  27. ^ a b c Mainwaring, S.; Brinks, D.; Pérez-Liñán, A.B. (2001). "Classifying Political Regimes in Latin". Studies in Comparative International Development. 36 (1): 37–65. doi:10.1007/BF02687584.
  28. ^ Gastil, R.D. (1990). "The Comparative Survey of Freedom: Experiences and Suggestions". Studies in Comparative International Development. 25 (1): 25–50. doi:10.1007/BF02716904.
  29. ^ a b Bollen, Kenneth A. and Paxton, Pamela, "Subjective Measures of Liberal Democracy"[permanent dead link], Comparative Political Studies, vol. 33, no. 1 (February 2000), pp. 58–86
  30. ^ Giannone, Diego, "Political and ideological aspects in the measurement of democracy: the Freedom House case", Democratization, vol. 17, no. 1 (February 2010), pp. 68–97.[unreliable source?]
  31. ^ "Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics." The American Political Science Review 64 (4): 1033–1053.
  32. ^ Giannone (2010), p. 69. Quoting Landman, Tod, and Julia Hausermann, Map-Making and Analysis of the Main International Initiatives on Developing Indicators on Democracy and Good Governance Archived 13 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Final Report, University of Essex – Human Rights Centre, July 2003, 98 pp.
  33. ^ Scoble, Harry and Laurie Wiseberg, Ved Nanda, Ved, James Scarritt, and George Shepherd (eds) (1981), "Problems of Comparative Research in Human Rights", Global Human Rights: Public Policies, Comparative Measures and NGO Strategies, pp. 147–171, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, ISBN 978-0-89158-858-0. Cited in Giannone (2010), p. 69.
  34. ^ a b Giannone (2010), p. 69, citing Scoble, et al. (1981) and Axel Hadenius and Jan Teorell. "Assessing Alternative Indices of Democracy", Political Concepts, Committee on Concepts and Methods, Working Paper Series, August 2005, 47 pp.
  35. ^ Munck, Gerardo L. and Verkuilen, Jay, "Conceptualising and Measuring Democracy: Evaluating Alternative Indices", Comparative Political Studies, vol. 35, no. 1 (February 2002), pp. 5–34. Cited in Giannone (2010), p. 69.
  36. ^ Giannone (2010), p. 68.

References[edit]

External links[edit]