Democracy Index

Source The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
Date27 Jan 2020

This is the 12th edition of the Democracy Index, which began in 2006, and it records how global democracy fared in 2019. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s measure of democracy, almost one-half (48.4%) of the world’s population live in a democracy of some sort, although only 5.7% reside in a "full democracy", down from 8.9% in 2015 as a result of the US being demoted from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" in 2016. More than one-third of the world’s population live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being in China.

According to the 2019 Democracy Index, 76 of the 167 countries covered by the model, or 45.5% of all countries, can be considered to be democracies. The number of "full democracies" increased to 22 in 2019, up from 20 in 2018, as Chile, France and Portugal joined the top-ranked countries (those scoring more than 8.00), while Malta was relegated to the "flawed democracy" category. The number of "flawed democracies" fell by one to 54 in 2019. 54 are "authoritarian regimes", up from 52 in 2018, and 37 are classified as "hybrid regimes", down from 39 in 2018.

In the 2019 Democracy Index the average global score for democracy fell from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44 (on a scale of 0-10). This is the worst average global score since the index was first produced in 2006. Countries in western Europe occupy seven of the top ten places in the global democracy ranking, including the top three spots, and the region boasts the largest number of "full democracies" of anywhere in the world, with a total of 15. There are 3 "full democracy" countries in Latin America, two in Australasia (but no Asian ones) one each in North America and Africa.

Norway is at top, with a score of 9.87 (on a scale of 0-10), and North Korea was at the bottom of the global rankings, with a score of 1.08. In 2019 some 68 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2018, but almost as many (65) recorded an improvement. The other 34 stagnated, with their scores remaining unchanged compared with 2018. Some of the more notable moves up and down the rankings were recorded by Thailand, which registered the biggest improvement in score and ranking, and by China, which registered the greatest decline. Following the first election since the military coup in 2014, Thailand’s score improved by 1.69 points and it moved up 38 places in the rankings, from a "hybrid regime" to a "flawed democracy". China’s regression resulted in a decline in score of 1.06 points and a fall of 23 places down the rankings.

The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; the functioning of government; political participation; political culture; and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: "full democracy", "flawed democracy", "hybrid regime" or "authoritarian regime".

democracy index
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Index 2019
change in democracy index
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change in 2019
Economy Democracy Index (2019) Democracy Index (2018) Change Region
RankScoreRankScoreRank Score
Norway19.8719.8700.00Western Europe
Iceland29.5829.5800.00Western Europe
Sweden39.3939.3900.00Western Europe
New Zealand49.2649.2600.00Asia & Australasia
Finland59.2589.14+3+0.11Western Europe
Ireland69.2479.15+1+0.09Western Europe
Canada79.2269.15-1+0.07North America
Denmark89.2259.22-30.00Western Europe
Australia99.0999.0900.00Asia & Australasia
Switzerland109.03109.0300.00Western Europe
Netherlands119.01118.890+0.12Western Europe
Luxembourg128.81128.8100.00Western Europe
Germany138.68138.6800.00Western Europe
United Kingdom148.52148.530-0.01Western Europe
Uruguay158.38158.3800.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Austria168.29168.2900.00Western Europe
Mauritius178.22178.2200.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Spain188.18198.08+1+0.10Western Europe
Costa Rica198.13208.07+1+0.06Latin America & the Caribbean
France208.12297.80+9+0.32Western Europe
Chile218.08237.97+2+0.11Latin America & the Caribbean
Portugal228.03277.84+5+0.19Western Europe
South Korea238.00218.00-20.00Asia & Australasia
Japan247.99227.99-20.00Asia & Australasia
US257.96257.9600.00North America
Malta267.95188.21-8-0.26Western Europe
Estonia277.90247.97-3-0.07Eastern Europe
Israel287.86307.79+2+0.07Middle East & North Africa
Botswana297.81287.81-10.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Cabo Verde307.78267.88-4-0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
Taiwan317.73327.73+10.00Asia & Australasia
Czech Republic327.69347.69+20.00Eastern Europe
Belgium337.64317.78-2-0.14Western Europe
Cyprus347.59357.59+10.00Western Europe
Italy357.52337.71-2-0.19Western Europe
Slovenia367.50367.5000.00Eastern Europe
Lithuania377.50377.5000.00Eastern Europe
Latvia387.49387.380+0.11Eastern Europe
Greece397.43397.290+0.14Western Europe
South Africa407.24407.2400.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Timor-Leste417.19427.19+10.00Asia & Australasia
Slovakia427.17447.10+2+0.07Eastern Europe
Malaysia437.16526.88+9+0.28Asia & Australasia
Trinidad and Tobago447.16437.16-10.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Colombia457.13516.96+6+0.17Latin America & the Caribbean
Panama467.05457.05-10.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Bulgaria477.03467.03-10.00Eastern Europe
Argentina487.02487.0200.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Suriname496.98496.9800.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Jamaica506.96477.02-3-0.06Latin America & the Caribbean
India516.90417.23-10-0.33Asia & Australasia
Brazil526.86506.97-2-0.11Latin America & the Caribbean
Tunisia536.72646.41+11+0.31Middle East & North Africa
Philippines546.64536.71-1-0.07Asia & Australasia
Ghana556.63586.63+30.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Hungary566.63576.63+10.00Eastern Europe
Poland576.62556.67-2-0.05Eastern Europe
Peru586.60596.60+10.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Croatia596.57606.57+10.00Eastern Europe
Lesotho606.54566.64-4-0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
Dominican Republic616.54616.5400.00Latin America & the Caribbean
Mongolia626.50626.5000.00Asia & Australasia
Romania636.49666.38+3+0.11Eastern Europe
Indonesia646.48656.39+1+0.09Asia & Australasia
Namibia656.43696.25+4+0.18Sub-Saharan Africa
Serbia666.41636.41-30.00Eastern Europe
Ecuador676.33686.27+1+0.06Latin America & the Caribbean
Thailand686.321074.63+39+1.69Asia & Australasia
Sri Lanka696.27726.19+3+0.08Asia & Australasia
Paraguay706.24706.2400.00Latin America & the Caribbean
El Salvador716.15775.96+6+0.19Latin America & the Caribbean
Guyana726.15546.67-18-0.52Latin America & the Caribbean
Mexico736.09716.19-2-0.10Latin America & the Caribbean
Papua New Guinea746.03756.03+10.00Asia & Australasia
Hong Kong756.02746.15-1-0.13Asia & Australasia
Singapore766.02676.38-9-0.36Asia & Australasia
North Macedonia775.97785.87+1+0.10Eastern Europe
Ukraine785.90845.69+6+0.21Eastern Europe
Albania795.89765.98-3-0.09Eastern Europe
Bangladesh805.88885.57+8+0.31Asia & Australasia
Fiji815.85805.85-10.00Asia & Australasia
Senegal825.81736.15-9-0.34Sub-Saharan Africa
Moldova835.75795.85-4-0.10Eastern Europe
Montenegro845.65825.74-2-0.09Eastern Europe
Madagascar855.64955.22+10+0.42Sub-Saharan Africa
Armenia865.541034.79+17+0.75Eastern Europe
Malawi875.50905.49+3+0.01Sub-Saharan Africa
Liberia885.45935.35+5+0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
Honduras895.42855.63-4-0.21Latin America & the Caribbean
Georgia905.42895.50-1-0.08Eastern Europe
Bhutan915.30945.30+30.00Asia & Australasia
Nepal925.28975.18+5+0.10Asia & Australasia
Guatemala935.26875.60-6-0.34Latin America & the Caribbean
Kenya945.18985.11+4+0.07Sub-Saharan Africa
Tanzania955.16925.41-3-0.25Sub-Saharan Africa
Morocco965.101004.99+4+0.11Middle East & North Africa
Benin975.09815.74-16-0.65Sub-Saharan Africa
Zambia985.09865.61-12-0.52Sub-Saharan Africa
Uganda995.02965.20-3-0.18Sub-Saharan Africa
Mali1004.92915.41-9-0.49Sub-Saharan Africa
Kyrgyz Republic1014.89995.11-2-0.22Eastern Europe
Sierra Leone1024.861054.66+3+0.20Sub-Saharan Africa
Bosnia and Hercegovina1034.861014.98-2-0.12Eastern Europe
Bolivia1044.84835.70-21-0.86Latin America & the Caribbean
Haiti1054.571024.91-3-0.34Latin America & the Caribbean
Lebanon1064.361064.630-0.27Middle East & North Africa
Gambia1074.331114.31+4+0.02Sub-Saharan Africa
Pakistan1084.251124.17+4+0.08Asia & Australasia
Nigeria1094.121084.44-1-0.32Sub-Saharan Africa
Turkey1104.091104.370-0.28Western Europe
Côte d’Ivoire1114.051134.15+2-0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
Burkina Faso1124.041044.75-8-0.71Sub-Saharan Africa
Algeria1134.011263.50+13+0.51Middle East & North Africa
Jordan1143.931153.93+10.00Middle East & North Africa
Kuwait1153.931163.85+1+0.08Middle East & North Africa
Mauritania1163.921193.82+3+0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
Palestine1173.891094.39-8-0.50Middle East & North Africa
Iraq1183.741144.06-4-0.32Middle East & North Africa
Angola1193.721233.62+4+0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
Mozambique1203.651173.85-3-0.20Sub-Saharan Africa
Gabon1213.611243.61+30.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Nicaragua1223.551223.630-0.08Latin America & the Caribbean
Myanmar1233.551183.83-5-0.28Asia & Australasia
Cambodia1243.531253.59+1-0.06Asia & Australasia
Ethiopia1253.441293.35+4+0.09Sub-Saharan Africa
Togo1263.301383.10+12+0.20Sub-Saharan Africa
Niger1273.291203.76-7-0.47Sub-Saharan Africa
Qatar1283.191333.19+50.00Middle East & North Africa
Rwanda1293.161283.35-1-0.19Sub-Saharan Africa
Zimbabwe1303.161343.16+40.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Comoros1313.151213.71-10-0.56Sub-Saharan Africa
Guinea1323.141363.14+40.00Sub-Saharan Africa
eSwatini1333.141413.03+8+0.11Sub-Saharan Africa
Congo (Brazzaville)1343.111313.31-3-0.20Sub-Saharan Africa
Russia1353.111442.94+9+0.17Eastern Europe
Vietnam1363.081393.08+30.00Asia & Australasia
Oman1373.061403.04+3+0.02Middle East & North Africa
Egypt1383.061273.36-11-0.30Middle East & North Africa
Kazakhstan1392.941452.94+60.00Eastern Europe
Venezuela1402.881353.16-5-0.28Latin America & the Caribbean
Belarus1412.881373.13-4-0.25Eastern Europe
Cameroon1422.851323.28-10-0.43Sub-Saharan Africa
Afghanistan1432.851432.970-0.12Asia & Australasia
Cuba1442.841423.00-2-0.16Latin America & the Caribbean
Djibouti1452.771462.87+1-0.10Sub-Saharan Africa
United Arab Emirates1462.761472.76+10.00Middle East & North Africa
Azerbaijan1472.751492.65+2+0.10Eastern Europe
Sudan1482.701552.15+7+0.55Middle East & North Africa
Guinea-Bissau1492.631571.98+8+0.65Sub-Saharan Africa
Bahrain1502.551482.71-2-0.16Middle East & North Africa
Iran1512.381502.45-1-0.07Middle East & North Africa
Eritrea1522.371512.37-10.00Sub-Saharan Africa
China1532.261303.32-23-1.06Asia & Australasia
Burundi1542.151532.33-1-0.18Sub-Saharan Africa
Laos1552.141522.37-3-0.23Asia & Australasia
Libya1562.021542.19-2-0.17Middle East & North Africa
Uzbekistan1572.011562.01-10.00Eastern Europe
Yemen1581.951581.9500.00Middle East & North Africa
Tajikistan1591.931591.9300.00Eastern Europe
Saudi Arabia1601.931601.9300.00Middle East & North Africa
Equatorial Guinea1611.921611.9200.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Turkmenistan1621.721621.7200.00Eastern Europe
Chad1631.611631.6100.00Sub-Saharan Africa
Syria1641.431661.43+20.00Middle East & North Africa
Central African Republic1651.321641.52-1-0.20Sub-Saharan Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo1661.131651.49-1-0.36Sub-Saharan Africa
North Korea1671.081671.0800.00Asia & Australasia
World5.44 5.48-0.04