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The Economist Democracy index map for 2008, with lighter colours representing more democratic countries. Countries with DI below 3 (clearly authoritarian) are black.

The Democracy Index is an index compiled by The Economist examining the state of democracy in 167 countries, attempting to quantify this with an Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy which focused on five general categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. According to Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index 2008 Sweden scored a total of 9.88 on a scale from zero to ten, which was the highest result, while North Korea scored the lowest with 0.86.[1] The countries are categorised into "Full Democracies", "Flawed Democracies", "Hybrid Regimes" (all considered democracies), and "Authoritarian Regimes" (considered dictatorial).

Contents

Methodology

As described in the report, the democracy index is a kind of weighted average based on the answers of 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted alternative answers. Most answers are "experts' assessments"; the report does not indicate what kinds of experts, nor their number, nor whether the experts are employees of The Economist or e.g. independent scholars, nor the nationalities of the experts. 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 distributed into the five categories enumerated supra. Each answer is translated to a mark, either 0 or 1, or for the three answer alternative questions, 0.5. With the exceptions infra, seemingly, the sums are added within each category, 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 national legislation and head of government are not considered free (question 1), then the next question, "Are elections... fair?" is not considered, but automatically marked 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

  1. "Whether national elections are free and fair";
  2. "The security of voters";
  3. "The influence of foreign powers on government";
  4. "The capability of the civil servants to implement policies".

The five category indices, which all are listed in the report, are then averaged to find the democracy index for a given country. Finally, the democracy index, rounded to one decimal, decides the classification of the country, as quoted:

  1. Full democracies—scores of 8-10.
  2. Flawed democracies—scores of 6 to 7.9.
  3. Hybrid regimes—scores of 4 to 5.9.
  4. Authoritarian regimes—scores below 4.

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. E.g., in this comparison, a higher emphasis has been put on the public opinion and attitudes, as measured by public surveys, but on the other hand, economic living standard has not been weighted as one criterion of democracy (as seemingly some other investigators have done).[citation needed]

There is no indication that this report has been presented or is planned to be presented in any academic context, or has been checked by or will be checked by a peer review.

Democracy index by regime type

The following table constitutes the number of countries in each category according to 2008 survey.

Regime Type Countries  % of countries  % of world population
Full democracies 30 18.0 14.4
Flawed democracies 50 29.9 35.5
Hybrid regimes 36 21.6 15.2
Authoritarian regimes 51 30.5 34.9

World population refers to the total population of the 167 countries that are covered. Since this survey excludes only a few microstates, this is nearly equal to the entire actual estimated world population in 2008.

2008 ranking

No. Location Index Category Type of government
1  Sweden 9.88 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
2  Norway 9.68 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
3  Iceland 9.65 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
4  Netherlands 9.53 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
5  Denmark 9.52 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
6  Finland 9.25 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
7  New Zealand 9.19 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
8  Switzerland 9.15 Full democracy Parliamentary republic, Confederation, Semi-direct democracy, Bicameralism
9  Luxembourg 9.10 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
10  Australia 9.09 Full democracy Federalism, Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy, Bicameralism
11  Canada 9.07 Full democracy Federalism, Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy, Bicameralism
12  Ireland 9.01 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy, Bicameralism
13  Germany 8.82 Full democracy Federalism, Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy, Bicameralism
14  Austria 8.49 Full democracy Federalism, Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy, Bicameralism
15  Spain 8.45 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy, Bicameralism
16  Malta 8.39 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
17  Japan 8.25 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
18  United States 8.22 Full democracy Federalism, Presidential system, Bicameralism
19  Czech Republic 8.19 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
20  Belgium 8.16 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
21  United Kingdom 8.15 Full democracy Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
22  Greece 8.13 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
23  Uruguay 8.08 Full democracy Presidential system, Bicameralism
24  France 8.07 Full democracy Semi-presidential system, Bicameralism
25  Portugal 8.05 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
26  Mauritius 8.04 Full democracy Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
27  Costa Rica 8.04 Full democracy Presidential system
28  South Korea 8.01 Full democracy Presidential system
29  Italy 7.98 Full democracy Bicameralism, Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
30  Slovenia 7.96 Full democracy Bicameralism, Parliamentary republic and Parliamentary Democracy
31  South Africa 7.91 Flawed democracy Constitutional democracy, Bicameralism
32  Chile 7.89 Flawed democracy Presidential system, Bicameralism
33  Republic of China 7.82 Flawed democracy
34  Cape Verde 7.81 Flawed democracy
35  India 7.80 Flawed democracy Federalism, Parliamentary democracy, Bicameralism
36  Cyprus 7.70 Flawed democracy
37  Estonia 7.68 Flawed democracy
38  Israel 7.48 Flawed democracy
39  Botswana 7.47 Flawed democracy
40  Hungary 7.44 Flawed democracy
41  Brazil 7.38 Flawed democracy Federalism, Presidential system, Bicameralism
42  Lithuania 7.36 Flawed democracy
43  Panama 7.35 Flawed democracy
44  Slovakia 7.33 Flawed democracy
45  Poland 7.30 Flawed democracy
46  Latvia 7.23 Flawed democracy
47  Timor-Leste 7.22 Flawed democracy
48  Trinidad and Tobago 7.21 Flawed democracy
49  Jamaica 7.21 Flawed democracy
50  Romania 7.06 Flawed democracy
51  Croatia 7.04 Flawed democracy
52  Bulgaria 7.02 Flawed democracy
53  Ukraine 6.94 Flawed democracy
54  Thailand 6.81 Flawed democracy Bicameralism, Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
55  Mexico 6.78 Flawed democracy
56  Argentina 6.63 Flawed democracy
57  Sri Lanka 6.61 Flawed democracy
58  Mongolia 6.60 Flawed democracy
59  Suriname 6.58 Flawed democracy
60  Colombia 6.54 Flawed democracy
61  Papua New Guinea 6.54 Flawed democracy
62  Moldova 6.50 Flawed democracy
63  Serbia 6.49 Flawed democracy
64  Namibia 6.48 Flawed democracy
65  Montenegro 6.43 Flawed democracy
66  Paraguay 6.40 Flawed democracy
67  El Salvador 6.40 Flawed democracy
68  Malaysia 6.36 Flawed democracy
69  Indonesia 6.34 Flawed democracy
70  Peru 6.31 Flawed democracy
71  Lesotho 6.29 Flawed democracy
72  Macedonia 6.21 Flawed democracy
73  Dominican Republic 6.20 Flawed democracy
74  Honduras 6.18 Flawed democracy
75  Bolivia 6.15 Flawed democracy
76  Guyana 6.12 Flawed democracy
77  Philippines 6.12 Flawed democracy Unitary presidential constitutional republic, Bicameralism
78  Nicaragua 6.07 Flawed democracy
79  Guatemala 6.07 Flawed democracy
80  Benin 6.06 Flawed democracy
81  Albania 5.91 Hybrid regime
82  Singapore 5.89 Hybrid regime
83  Mali 5.87 Hybrid regime
84  Hong Kong 5.85 Hybrid regime
85  Palestinian Authority 5.83 Hybrid regime
86  Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.70 Hybrid regime
87  Turkey 5.69 Hybrid regime
88  Ecuador 5.64 Hybrid regime
89  Lebanon 5.62 Hybrid regime
90  Madagascar 5.57 Hybrid regime
91  Bangladesh 5.52 Hybrid regime
92  Mozambique 5.49 Hybrid regime
93  Senegal 5.37 Hybrid regime
94  Ghana 5.35 Hybrid regime
95  Venezuela 5.34 Hybrid regime
96  Tanzania 5.28 Hybrid regime
97  Zambia 5.25 Hybrid regime
98  Liberia 5.25 Hybrid regime
99  Malawi 5.13 Hybrid regime
100  Fiji 5.11 Hybrid regime
101  Uganda 5.03 Hybrid regime
102  Cambodia 4.87 Hybrid regime
103  Kenya 4.79 Hybrid regime
104  Georgia 4.62 Hybrid regime
105  Ethiopia 4.52 Hybrid regime
106  Burundi 4.51 Hybrid regime
107  Russia 4.48 Hybrid regime Federalism, Semi-presidential system, Bicameralism
108  Pakistan 4.46 Hybrid regime
109  Bhutan 4.30 Hybrid regime
110  Haiti 4.19 Hybrid regime
111  Gambia 4.19 Hybrid regime
112  Sierra Leone 4.11 Hybrid regime
113  Armenia 4.09 Hybrid regime
114  Kyrgyzstan 4.05 Hybrid regime
115  Nepal 4.05 Hybrid regime
116  Iraq 4.00 Hybrid regime
117  Jordan 3.93 Authoritarian regime
118  Mauritania 3.91 Authoritarian regime
119  Egypt 3.89 Authoritarian regime
120  Morocco 3.88 Authoritarian regime
121  Rwanda 3.71 Authoritarian regime
122  Burkina Faso 3.60 Authoritarian regime
123  Comoros 3.58 Authoritarian regime
124  Nigeria 3.53 Authoritarian regime
125  Cuba 3.52 Authoritarian regime
126  Cameroon 3.46 Authoritarian regime
127  Kazakhstan 3.45 Authoritarian regime
128  Niger 3.41 Authoritarian regime
129  Kuwait 3.39 Authoritarian regime
130  Bahrain 3.38 Authoritarian regime
131  Angola 3.35 Authoritarian regime
132  Belarus 3.34 Authoritarian regime
133  Algeria 3.32 Authoritarian regime
134  Côte d'Ivoire 3.27 Authoritarian regime
135  Azerbaijan 3.19 Authoritarian regime
136  People's Republic of China 3.04 Authoritarian regime People's democratic dictatorship, socialist state and single-party communist state
137  Swaziland 3.04 Authoritarian regime Absolute Monarchy
138  Afghanistan 3.02 Authoritarian regime Islamic Interim Administration
139  Gabon 3.00 Authoritarian regime Republic
140  Oman 2.98 Authoritarian regime Islamic absolute monarchy
141  Tunisia 2.96 Authoritarian regime Republic
142  Yemen 2.95 Authoritarian regime Republic
143  Republic of the Congo 2.94 Authoritarian regime Republic
144  Qatar 2.92 Authoritarian regime Emirate
145  Iran 2.83 Authoritarian regime Islamic republic
146  Sudan 2.81 Authoritarian regime Federal presidential democratic republic
147  United Arab Emirates 2.60 Authoritarian regime Federal constitutional monarchy
148  Zimbabwe 2.53 Authoritarian regime Semi-presidential, parliamentary, consociationalist republic
149  Vietnam 2.53 Authoritarian regime Socialist republic, Single-party communist state
150  Tajikistan 2.45 Authoritarian regime Unitary presidential republic
151  Togo 2.43 Authoritarian regime Republic
152  Djibouti 2.37 Authoritarian regime Semi-presidential republic
153  Eritrea 2.31 Authoritarian regime Semi-presidential republic
154  Democratic Republic of the Congo 2.28 Authoritarian regime Semi-presidential republic
155  Equatorial Guinea 2.19 Authoritarian regime Presidential Republic
156  Syria 2.18 Authoritarian regime Presidential single party republic (under Emergency Law since 1963)
157  Laos 2.10 Authoritarian regime Socialist republic, Single-party communist state
158  Guinea 2.09 Authoritarian regime Military junta
159  Libya 2.00 Authoritarian regime Jamahiriya ("State of the masses")
160  Guinea-Bissau 1.99 Authoritarian regime Semi-presidential republic
161  Saudi Arabia 1.90 Authoritarian regime Islamic absolute monarchy
162  Central African Republic 1.86 Authoritarian regime Republic
163  Myanmar 1.77 Authoritarian regime Military junta (de facto Military Dictatorship)
164  Uzbekistan 1.74 Authoritarian regime Presidential republic
165  Turkmenistan 1.72 Authoritarian regime Presidential republic single-party state
166  Chad 1.52 Authoritarian regime Republic
167  North Korea 0.86 Authoritarian regime Socialist republic, Single-party communist state

See also

References

External links

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