Democracy Index 2020

The state of democracy in the world in 2020.


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Map of the world, ranking countries by level of democracy

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2020 has not been a good year for the state of democracy. The average global score has fell to an all-time low of 5.37, since the index was first produced in 2006. The largest drops have occurred in regions dominated by authoritarian regimes: Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.

In 116 of the 167 countries, the score has dropped compared to the year before with Mali and Togo making the biggest drop on the list (11 and 15 places).

In only 38 countries, the score improved compared to last year. With Taiwan being by far the biggest winner, rising an impressive 20 places from flawed democracy into a full democracy. The national elections in January of 2020 demonstrated the resilience of Taiwan’s democracy.

The Economist has ranked 167 countries on a scale from 0 to 10, based on how democratic they are. The countries are rated on 60 different indicators. These indicators are grouped into 5 categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

Based on that score, the countries are put into one of four types of regime:

  • Full democracies: scores greater than 8
  • Flawed democracies: scores greater than 6, and less than or equal to 8
  • Hybrid regimes: scores greater than 4, and less than or equal to 6
  • Authoritarian regimes: scores less than or equal to 4

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