The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a UK-based company. Its intention is to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states.
The index was first published in 2006, with updates for 2008, 2010 and later years. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories, measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorises each country in one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.
As described in the report, the democracy index is a weighted average based on the answers of 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted alternative answers. Most answers are "experts' assessments". Some answers are provided by public-opinion surveys from the respective countries. In the case of countries for which survey results are missing, survey results for similar countries and expert assessments are used in order to fill in gaps.
The questions are grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Each answer is converted to a score, either 0 or 1, or for the three-answer questions, 0, 0.5 or 1. With the exceptions mentioned below, within each category the scores are added, multiplied by ten, and divided by the total number of questions within the category. There are a few modifying dependencies, which are explained much more precisely than the main rule procedures. In a few cases, an answer yielding zero for one question voids another question; e.g. if the elections for the national legislature and head of government are not considered free (question 1), then the next question, "Are elections... fair?", is not considered, but automatically scored zero. Likewise, there are a few questions considered so important that a low score on them yields a penalty on the total score sum for their respective categories, namely:
The five category indices, which are listed in the report, are then averaged to find the Democracy Index for a given country. Finally, the Democracy Index, rounded to two decimals, decides the regime type classification of the country.
The report discusses other indices of democracy, as defined e.g. by Freedom House, and argues for some of the choices made by the team from the Economist Intelligence Unit. In this comparison, a higher emphasis is placed on the public opinion and attitudes, as measured by surveys, but on the other hand, economic living standards are not weighted as one criterion of democracy (as seemingly some other investigators have done).
Full democracies are nations where civil liberties and basic 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.
Flawed democracies are nations where elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties are honored but may have issues (e.g. media freedom infringement). 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.
Hybrid regimes are nations where consequential irregularities exist in elections, regularly preventing them from being fair and free. These nations commonly have governments that apply pressure on political opponents, non-independent judiciaries, widespread corruption, harassment and pressure placed on the media, anemic 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.
Authoritarian regimes are nations where political pluralism has vanished or is extremely limited. These nations are often absolute monarchies or dictatorships, may have some conventional institutions of democracy but with meager significance, infringements and abuses of civil liberties are commonplace, elections (if they take place) are not fair and free, the media is often state-owned or controlled by groups associated with the ruling regime, the judiciary is not independent, and there is omnipresent censorship and suppression of governmental criticism.
Listing by country is available on The Economist website.
|4||New Zealand||9.26||10.00||9.29||8.89||8.13||10.00||Full democracy|
|14||United Kingdom||8.53||9.58||7.50||8.33||8.13||9.12||Full democracy|
|20||Costa Rica||8.07||9.58||7.50||6.67||7.50||9.12||Full democracy|
|21||South Korea||8.00||9.17||7.86||7.22||7.50||8.24||Flawed democracy[a]|
|25||United States||7.96||9.17||7.14||7.78||7.50||8.24||Flawed democracy|
|26||Cape Verde||7.88||9.17||7.86||6.67||6.88||8.82||Flawed democracy|
|32||Republic of China (Taiwan)||7.73||9.58||8.21||6.11||5.63||9.12||Flawed democracy|
|34||Czech Republic||7.69||9.58||6.79||6.67||6.88||8.53||Flawed democracy|
|40||South Africa||7.24||7.42||7.50||8.33||5.00||7.94||Flawed democracy|
|43||Trinidad and Tobago||7.16||9.58||7.14||6.11||5.63||7.35||Flawed democracy|
|61||Dominican Republic||6.54||9.17||5.36||6.11||5.00||7.06||Flawed democracy|
|=71||Sri Lanka||6.19||7.83||5.71||5.00||6.25||6.18||Flawed democracy|
|=73||Hong Kong||6.15||3.08||6.07||5.56||7.50||8.53||Flawed democracy|
|75||Papua New Guinea||6.03||6.92||6.07||3.89||5.63||7.65||Flawed democracy|
|77||El Salvador||5.96||9.17||4.29||5.56||3.75||7.06||Hybrid regime|
|78||North Macedonia||5.87||6.50||5.36||6.67||3.75||7.06||Hybrid regime|
|101||Bosnia and Herzegovina||4.98||6.50||2.93||5.56||3.75||6.18||Hybrid regime|
|104||Burkina Faso||4.75||4.42||4.29||4.44||5.63||5.00||Hybrid regime|
|105||Sierra Leone||4.66||6.58||1.86||3.33||6.25||5.29||Hybrid regime|
|113||Ivory Coast||4.15||4.83||2.86||3.33||5.63||4.12||Hybrid regime|
|131||Republic of the Congo||3.31||3.17||2.50||3.89||3.75||3.24||Authoritarian|
|147||United Arab Emirates||2.76||0.00||3.93||2.22||5.00||2.65||Authoritarian|
|164||Central African Republic||1.52||2.25||0.00||1.11||1.88||2.35||Authoritarian|
|165||Democratic Republic of the Congo||1.49||0.50||0.71||2.22||3.13||0.88||Authoritarian|
In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy; its score, which had been persistently declining, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016. The report states that this was caused by a myriad of factors, dating back to the late 1960s, which eroded Americans' trust in governmental institutions.
The 2017 Democracy index registered the worst year for global democracy since 2010-11 in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. 89 countries' scores were lower than in 2016, more than three times as many as the countries that recorded an improvement. Asia was the worst-performing region overall. Venezuela was downgraded from a "hybrid regime" to an "authoritarian regime".
Australia (ranked 8th) and Taiwan (ranked 33rd) both legalised same-sex marriage in 2017. In China, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, further entrenched his power by writing his theoretical contribution to the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology, dubbed "Xi Jinping Thought", into the party's constitution. Moldova was downgraded from a "ﬂawed democracy" to a "hybrid regime" as a result of problematic elections. By contrast, Armenia was reupgraded from an "authoritarian regime" to a "hybrid regime". as a result of constitutional changes that shifted power from the presidency to parliament.
The Democracy Index has been criticized 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.
The following table gives the number and percentage of countries and the percentage of the world population for each regime type in 2018:
|Type of regime||Score (s)||Number of
|Full democracies||8 < s||20||12.0||4.5|
|Flawed democracies||6 < s ≤ 8||55||32.9||43.2|
|Hybrid regimes||4 < s ≤ 6||39||23.4||16.7|
|Authoritarian regimes||s ≤ 4||53||31.7||35.6|
World population refers to the total population of the 167 countries covered by the Index. Since this excludes only microstates, this is nearly equal to the entire estimated world population.
The following table gives the index average by world region, and the number of covered countries in 2017. Note that some regional groups (e.g. Eastern Europe and Asia and Australasia) are very heterogeneous and composed of full democracies as well as authoritarian regimes:
|3||Latin America and the Caribbean||24||6.37||6.43||6.37||6.35||6.36||6.38||6.36||6.37||6.33||6.26||6.24|
|4||Asia and Australasia||28||5.44||5.58||5.53||5.51||5.56||5.61||5.70||5.74||5.74||5.63||5.67|
|5||Central and Eastern Europe||28||5.76||5.67||5.55||5.50||5.51||5.53||5.58||5.55||5.43||5.40||5.42|
|7||Middle East and North Africa||20||3.54||3.48||3.52||3.62||3.73||3.68||3.65||3.58||3.56||3.54||3.54|
Early presidential elections were held in Kazakhstan on 3 April 2011, having been originally scheduled for 2012.The elections were called after a plan for holding a referendum to increase president term limits to 2020 was rejected by the Constitutional Council.Nazarbayev was re-elected for a third term with 95% of the votes and 90% turnout, against three nominal candidates. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has complained about a lack of transparency and competition in the vote.
Kazakhstan was reported at the 132nd place over 167 on The Economist's Democracy Index for 2010, as an authoritarian regime.Central Europe
Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. It is said to occupy continuous territory that are otherwise conventionally Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical, social and cultural identity. Central Europe is going through a phase of "strategic awakening", with initiatives such as the CEI, Centrope and the Visegrád Four. While the region's economy shows high disparities with regard to income, all Central European countries are listed by the Human Development Index as very highly developed.Democratic republic
A democratic republic is a form of government operating on principles adopted from a republic and a democracy. Rather than being a cross between two entirely separate systems, democratic republics may function on principles shared by both republics and democracies.Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is a British business within the Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports, and industry reports.The EIU provides country, industry, and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a UK company acquired by its parent company in 1986. The EIU has several offices across the globe including two offices in China and one in Hong Kong.Its current Managing Director is Robin Bew, formerly the company's Editorial Director and Chief Economist.Economy of Malta
Malta is a highly industrialised, service-based economy. It is classified as an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund and is considered a high-income country by the World Bank and an innovation-driven economy by the World Economic Forum. It is a member of the European Union and of the eurozone, having formally adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.The strengths of the economy of Malta are its strategic location, being situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea at a crossroads between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, its fully developed open market economy, multilingual population (88% of Maltese people speak English), productive labour force, low corporate tax and well developed finance and ICT clusters. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics), tourism and financial services. In 2014, over 1.7 million tourists visited the island.Malta's GDP per capita, adjusted by purchasing power parity, stands at $29,200 and ranks in 15th place in the list of EU countries in terms of purchasing power standard. In the 2013 calendar year, Malta recorded a budget deficit of 2.7%, which is within the limits for eurozone countries imposed by the Maastricht criteria, and Government gross debt of 69.8%. At 5.9%, Malta has the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the EU.Malta is the 15th-most democratic country in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index.Government of Mauritius
The Government of Mauritius (French: Gouvernement de Maurice) is the main authority of the executive power in the Republic of Mauritius. The head of the Government is the Prime Minister of Mauritius, who manages the main agenda of the Government and direct the ministers.
The 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance ranked Mauritius first in good governance. According to the 2015 Democracy Index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that measures the state of democracy in 167 countries, Mauritius ranks 18th worldwide followed by Uruguay and United States and is the only African country with Full Democracy.
Mauritius is also taking on the US and UK governments for the Chagos Archipelago islands which include Diego Garcia now a US naval base. Mauritius want these powers to hand back these islands which the government of Mauritius always considered as part of its territories to complete its decolonisation process. This is a matter of importance to the western world considering the critical location of the military base.Human rights in Europe
Human rights in Europe are generally upheld. However, several human rights infringements exist, ranging from the treatment of asylum seekers to police brutality. The 2012 Amnesty International Annual Report points to problems in several European countries. One of the most accused is Belarus, the only country in Europe that, according to The Economist, has an authoritarian government. All other European countries are considered to have "some form of democratic government", having either the "full democracy", "flawed democracy", or a "hybrid regime".Unlike its member states, the European Union itself has not yet joined the Convention on Human Rights as of 2011.Human rights in Romania
Human rights in Romania are generally respected by the government. However, there have been concerns regarding allegations of police brutality, mistreatment of the Romani minority, government corruption, poor prison conditions, and compromised judicial independence. Romania was ranked 59th out of 167 countries in the 2015 Democracy Index and is described as a "flawed democracy", similar to other countries in Central or Eastern Europe.International rankings of Bahrain
These are the international rankings of Bahrain.International rankings of Cuba
The following are international rankings of Cuba.International rankings of Malaysia
The following are international rankings of Malaysia.International rankings of Nepal
These are the international rankings of NepalInternational rankings of the United States
The following are links to international rankings of the United States
World Economic Forum 2018–2019 Global Competitiveness Report, ranked 1 out of 144 countries
Economist Intelligence Unit 2013 Where to be born Index, ranked 16 out of 80 countries
World Economic Forum 2016 Global Enabling Trade Report ranked 22
The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal 2018 Index of Economic Freedom ranked 18 out of 178 economies
Fraser Institute Economic Freedom of the World 2013 Annual Report (Economic Freedom Ratings for 2011) ranked 16 out of 152 countries and territoriesIsrael Democracy Institute
Israel Democracy Institute (IDI; Hebrew: המכון הישראלי לדמוקרטיה), established in 1991, is an independent center of research and action dedicated to strengthening the foundations of Israeli democracy. It is located in Jerusalem, Israel.List of freedom indices
This article contains a list of freedom indices produced by several non-governmental organizations that publish and maintain assessments of the state of freedom in the world, according to their own various definitions of the term, and rank countries as being free, partly free, or using various measures of freedom, including civil liberties, political rights and economic rights.List of political parties in Saudi Arabia
This is a list of political parties in the Saudi Arabia.
Many if not all of the parties listed are illegal as Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, with the government dominated by the royal family. According to The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index, the Saudi government was the seventh most authoritarian regime from among the 167 countries rated.Politics of Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a unitary state that is governed within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch serves as the head of state, while the prime minister is the head of government. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 had set in motion events that led to withdrawal of the Vietnamese armed forces that had established their presence in the country since the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979. The 1993 constitution, which is currently in force, was promulgated as a result of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements, followed by the elections organized under the aegis of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. The constitution proclaims a liberal, multiparty democracy in which powers are devolved to the three arms of the state: the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. Furthermore, the governing charter declares Cambodia to be an "independent, sovereign, peaceful, permanently neutral and non-aligned State."Executive power is exercised by the Royal Government, which constitutes of the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is aided in his functions by members of the Council such as deputy prime ministers, senior ministers, other ministers and secretaries of state. Legislative power is vested in a bicameral legislature composed of the National Assembly, which has the power to vote on draft law, and the Senate that has the power of review. Upon the passage of legislation through the two chambers, the draft law is presented to the King for signing and promulgation. The judiciary is tasked with the protection of the rights and liberties of the citizens, and for being an impartial arbiter of disputes. The constitution provides for the independence of the judiciary and prohibits the delegation of its powers to the executive or the legislature. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the country and takes appeals from lower courts on questions of law. A separate body called the Constitutional Council is established to provide interpretations of the constitution and to resolve disputes related to the election of the members of the legislature.The Cambodian People's Party has dominated the political landscape since the 1997 armed clashes in Phnom Penh. Other prominent political parties include the royalist FUNCINPEC and the erstwhile Cambodia National Rescue Party that was dissolved by the Supreme Court in 2017. The Economist Intelligence Unit has called the system of government "authoritarian" in its 2017 Democracy Index. This is a revision from the results published in the 2016 index that characterized the regime type as "hybrid".Politics of Tanzania
The politics of Tanzania takes place in a framework of a unitary presidential democratic republic, whereby the President of Tanzania is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The party system is dominated by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Revolutionary State Party). The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Tanzania as "hybrid regime" in 2016.