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Number of nations 1800-2003 scoring 8 or higher on Polity IV scale, a measure of democracy.
World map showing the data presented in the Polity IV data series report for the year 2003. Lighter shades = more democratic.

The Polity data series is a widely used data series in political science research.[1] The latest version, Polity IV contains coded annual information on regime authority characteristics and transitions for all independent states (with greater than 500,000 total population) in the global state system and covers the years 1800-2006.

The 2002 paper "Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy" claimed several problems with commonly used democracy rankings including Polity.[2]


  1. ^ Casper, Gretchen, and Claudiu Tufis. 2003. “Correlation Versus Interchangeability: the Limited Robustness of Empirical Finding on Democracy Using Highly Correlated Data Sets.” Political Analysis 11: 196-203.
  2. ^ [1][2]

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