A Detailed Map of the On-line World in Unbelievable Element

Mapped: The State of Democracy Across the World

The world’s (nearly) eight billion individuals stay beneath all kinds of political and cultural circumstances. In broad phrases, these circumstances will be measured and offered on a sliding scale between “free” and “not free”—the subtext being that democracy lies on one finish, and authoritarianism on the opposite.

This 12 months’s Democracy Index report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), is one such try to use a rating to international locations based mostly on how intently they measure as much as democratic beliefs.

Based on EIU, the state of democracy is at its lowest level because the index started in 2006, blamed partly on the pandemic restrictions that noticed many international locations struggling to stability public well being with private freedom.

On this 12 months’s report, the EIU reported a drop of the typical world rating from 5.37 to five.28, the most important drop since 2010 after the worldwide monetary disaster. This interprets right into a sobering truth: solely 46% of the inhabitants resides in a democracy “of some kind.”

Let’s dive a bit deeper into what this implies.

Proportion of Inhabitants by Regime Kind

In 2021, 37% of the world’s inhabitants nonetheless lived beneath an authoritarian regime. Afghanistan tops this record, adopted by Myanmar, North Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Syria. In fact, China has a giant share of the inhabitants residing beneath this type of regime.

On the opposite aspect of the spectrum we’ve full democracies, which solely account for six.4% of the inhabitants. Norway tops this record, adopted by New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland.

Regime Kind No. of Nations Share of nations Share of World Inhabitants
Full democracies 21 12.6% 6.4%
Flawed democracies 53 31.7% 39.3%
Hybrid Regimes 34 20.4% 17.2%
Authoritarian regimes 59 35.3% 37.1%

Let’s discover the traits of every of the 4 forms of regime in response to the EIU:

Full democracies are nations the place:

  • Civil liberties and basic political freedoms are revered
  • Legitimate methods of governmental checks and balances exist
  • There are restricted issues in democratic functioning
  • Media is various and impartial

Flawed democracies are nations the place:

  • Elections are honest and free
  • Primary liberties are honored however might have points
  • There are points within the functioning of governance

Hybrid regimes are nations the place:

  • Electoral fraud or irregularities happen repeatedly
  • Strain is utilized to political opposition
  • Corruption is widespread and rule of legislation tends to be weak
  • Media is pressured and harassed
  • There are points within the functioning of governance

Authoritarian regimes are nations the place:

  • Political pluralism is nonexistent or restricted
  • The inhabitants is dominated by absolute monarchies or dictatorships
  • Infringements and abuses of civil liberties are widespread
  • Elections will not be honest or free (in the event that they happen in any respect)
  • Media is state-owned or managed immediately or not directly by the ruling regime
  • The judiciary system will not be impartial
  • Criticism of the federal government is censored

World Democracy Index by Area

As talked about earlier, in 2021, the worldwide democracy rating declined from 5.37 to five.28. This was pushed by a decline within the common regional rating, however each area has a distinct actuality. Let’s check out the democratic state of every area on the earth.


North America (Canada and U.S.) is the top-ranked area within the Democracy Index with a median rating of 8.36, however this dropped considerably from 8.58 in 2020.

Each international locations have dropped their positions within the world rating, nonetheless, Canada nonetheless maintains the standing as a full democracy.

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in north and south america

The U.S. remains to be categorized by EIU as a flawed democracy, and has been since 2016. The report factors to excessive polarization and “gerrymandering” as key points going through the nation. On the intense aspect, political participation within the U.S. remains to be very sturdy in contrast with the remainder of the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean skilled the biggest decline in regional scores on the earth. This area dropped from 6.09 in 2020 to five.83 in 2021. This decline exhibits the overall discontent of the inhabitants about how their governments have dealt with the pandemic.

On this area, the one international locations falling beneath the complete democracy class are Costa Rica and Uruguay. On the opposite aspect of the spectrum, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba fall beneath the authoritarian regime classification.


In 2021, Western Europe is the area with essentially the most full democracies on the earth.

The truth is, 4 out of the highest 5 full democracies are on this area: Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. A notable downgrade on this area occurred in Spain; the nation is now thought-about a flawed democracy.

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in europe

Japanese Europe paints a distinct image, the place there may be not a single full democracy. Three international locations (Moldova, Montenegro, and North Macedonia) had been upgraded from being thought-about hybrid regimes to flawed democracies.

Ukraine’s rating declined to five.57, turning into a hybrid area. Russia’s rating additionally declined to three.24 maintaining the authoritarian regime standing. It’s vital to notice that this report by the EIU was printed earlier than the invasion of Ukraine started, and the battle will nearly actually influence scores in subsequent 12 months’s report.


Sub-Saharan Africa has essentially the most international locations on the backside of the Democracy Index rankings.

The actual fact is that 23 international locations are thought-about “authoritarian regimes”. In the meantime, there are 14 international locations which might be hybrid regimes, six international locations beneath flawed democracy, and just one nation, Mauritius, is taken into account a full democracy.

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in africa

In North Africa, 4 international locations are thought-about authoritarian regimes: Sudan, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. Solely Morocco and Tunisia fall into the hybrid regime classification.

Center East and Central Asia

This area concentrates a considerable variety of international locations categorized as authoritarian regimes. The truth is, the area’s general democracy rating is now decrease than what it was earlier than the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2010.

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in the middle east

There aren’t any international locations falling beneath the class of full democracy on this area. Solely Israel (7.97) and Cyprus (7.43) are thought-about flawed democracies. Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and Pakistan fall beneath the class of hybrid regimes, and the remainder of the international locations within the area are thought-about authoritarian regimes.

East Asia and Oceania

That is broad area is stuffed with contrasts. Other than Western Europe, East Asia and Oceania accommodates essentially the most full democracies: New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. There are additionally a excessive variety of international locations that fall beneath the class of flawed democracies.

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in east asia and oceania

It’s value noting that a few of the most contentious geopolitical relationships are between neighbors with large variations of their scores: China and Taiwan, or North and South Korea are examples of this juxtaposition.

Decline in World Democracy Ranges

Two years after the world received hit by the pandemic, we will see that world democracy is in a downward pattern.

Each area’s world rating skilled a drop, except for Western Europe, which remained flat. Out of the 167 international locations, 74 (44%) skilled a decline of their democracy rating.

As pandemic restrictions proceed to be lifted, will democracy make a comeback in 2022?

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