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Democracy at Lowest Levels According to Democratic Index

The annual Democracy Index for 2023, published by The Economist Intelligence Business Unit (EIU), found that the average global democratic score has fallen to the lowest since the index began in 2006.


In 2023, the index revealed that democracy in most parts of the world has significantly shifted, with less than 8% of the global population living in a democracy. Over 40% live under authoritarian rule.


Only 7.8% of the world live in a “full democracy”, down from 8.9% in 2015. It fell after the US was demoted from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy” in 2016.


Global conflict has affected the democracy score and prevented it from recovering from the pandemic years of 2020-22.


The index ranks countries based on five criteria: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, government functioning, political participation, and political culture.


Countries are classified into four types of regimes: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, or authoritarian regime. Ranking with scores of eight or higher indicates full democracies. The number of “flawed democracies” increased from 48 in 2022 to 50 in 2023.


Western Europe has 15 out of 24 full democracies globally. Norway is in first place, followed by New Zealand. The next four countries are all Nordic nations—Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.


Greece moved up the rankings to become a “full democracy”.


The most significant reversals in democracy occurred in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North Africa.


Chile was reclassified as a "flawed democracy". Papua New Guinea and Paraguay advanced from hybrid regimes to flawed democracies at the bottom of the list.


Asia and Australasia’s scores fell by a small margin of 0.05 in 2023 to 5.41. However, more than half of the 28 countries in the region recorded a decline in their scores (15), and only eight countries improved their scores.


Pakistan suffered the highest regression in the region, with its score falling to 3.25. It was previously considered a hybrid regime but is now considered an authoritarian regime and has declined 11 places in the global ranking.


Taiwan was ranked as the top “fully democratic” country in Asia and 10th globally.


Eastern Europe and Central Asia suffered the mildest regression of any region, with its average index score declining by 0.02 points to 5.37.


The region does not have any “full democracies”, alhough several countries classified as “flawed democracies” are close to moving up.


"World Athletics map" by Aleenf1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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