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Democracy Index: Map

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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 Swedenmarker scored a total of 9.88 on a scale from zero to ten, which was the highest result, while North Koreamarker scored the lowest with 0.86. The countries are categorized into "Full Democracies", "Flawed Democracies", "Hybrid Regimes" (all considered democracies), and "Authoritarian Regimes" (considered dictatorial).

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).

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
1 9.88 Full democracy
2 9.68 Full democracy
3 9.65 Full democracy
4 9.53 Full democracy
5 9.52 Full democracy
6 9.25 Full democracy
7 9.19 Full democracy
8 9.15 Full democracy
9 9.10 Full democracy
10 9.09 Full democracy
11 9.07 Full democracy
12 9.01 Full democracy
13 8.82 Full democracy
14 8.49 Full democracy
15 8.45 Full democracy
16 8.39 Full democracy
17 8.25 Full democracy
18 8.22 Full democracy
19 8.19 Full democracy
20 8.16 Full democracy
21 8.15 Full democracy
22 8.13 Full democracy
23 8.08 Full democracy
24 8.07 Full democracy
25 8.05 Full democracy
26 8.04 Full democracy
27 8.04 Full democracy
28 8.01 Full democracy
29 7.98 Full democracy
30 7.96 Full democracy
31 7.91 Flawed democracy
32 7.89 Flawed democracy
33 7.82 Flawed democracy
34 7.81 Flawed democracy
35 7.80 Flawed democracy
36 7.70 Flawed democracy
37 7.68 Flawed democracy
38 7.48 Flawed democracy
39 7.47 Flawed democracy
40 7.44 Flawed democracy
41 7.38 Flawed democracy
42 7.36 Flawed democracy
43 7.35 Flawed democracy
44 7.33 Flawed democracy
45 7.30 Flawed democracy
46 7.23 Flawed democracy
47 7.22 Flawed democracy
48 7.21 Flawed democracy
49 7.21 Flawed democracy
50 7.06 Flawed democracy
51 7.04 Flawed democracy
52 7.02 Flawed democracy
53 6.94 Flawed democracy
54 6.81 Flawed democracy
55 6.78 Flawed democracy
56 6.63 Flawed democracy
57 6.61 Flawed democracy
58 6.60 Flawed democracy
59 6.58 Flawed democracy
60 6.54 Flawed democracy
61 6.54 Flawed democracy
62 6.50 Flawed democracy
63 6.49 Flawed democracy
64 6.48 Flawed democracy
65 6.43 Flawed democracy
66 6.40 Flawed democracy
67 6.40 Flawed democracy
68 6.36 Flawed democracy
69 6.34 Flawed democracy
70 6.31 Flawed democracy
71 6.29 Flawed democracy
72 6.21 Flawed democracy
73 6.20 Flawed democracy
74 6.18 Flawed democracy
75 6.15 Flawed democracy
76 6.12 Flawed democracy
77 6.12 Flawed democracy
78 6.07 Flawed democracy
79 6.07 Flawed democracy
80 6.06 Flawed democracy
81 5.91 Hybrid regime
82 5.89 Hybrid regime
83 5.87 Hybrid regime
84 5.85 Hybrid regime
85 5.83 Hybrid regime
86 5.70 Hybrid regime
87 5.69 Hybrid regime
88 5.64 Hybrid regime
89 5.62 Hybrid regime
90 5.57 Hybrid regime
91 5.52 Hybrid regime
92 5.49 Hybrid regime
93 5.37 Hybrid regime
94 5.35 Hybrid regime
95 5.34 Hybrid regime
96 5.28 Hybrid regime
97 5.25 Hybrid regime
98 5.25 Hybrid regime
99 5.13 Hybrid regime
100 5.11 Hybrid regime
101 5.03 Hybrid regime
102 4.87 Hybrid regime
103 4.79 Hybrid regime
104 4.62 Hybrid regime
105 4.52 Hybrid regime
106 4.51 Hybrid regime
107 4.48 Hybrid regime
108 4.46 Hybrid regime
109 4.30 Hybrid regime
110 4.19 Hybrid regime
111 4.19 Hybrid regime
112 4.11 Hybrid regime
113 4.09 Hybrid regime
114 4.05 Hybrid regime
115 4.05 Hybrid regime
116 4.00 Hybrid regime
117 3.93 Authoritarian regime
118 3.91 Authoritarian regime
119 3.89 Authoritarian regime
120 3.88 Authoritarian regime
121 3.71 Authoritarian regime
122 3.60 Authoritarian regime
123 3.58 Authoritarian regime
124 3.53 Authoritarian regime
125 3.52 Authoritarian regime
126 3.46 Authoritarian regime
127 3.45 Authoritarian regime
128 3.41 Authoritarian regime
129 3.39 Authoritarian regime
130 3.38 Authoritarian regime
131 3.35 Authoritarian regime
132 3.34 Authoritarian regime
133 3.32 Authoritarian regime
134 3.27 Authoritarian regime
135 3.19 Authoritarian regime
136 3.04 Authoritarian regime
137 3.04 Authoritarian regime
138 3.02 Authoritarian regime
139 3.00 Authoritarian regime
140 2.98 Authoritarian regime
141 2.96 Authoritarian regime
142 2.95 Authoritarian regime
143 2.94 Authoritarian regime
144 2.92 Authoritarian regime
145 2.83 Authoritarian regime
146 2.81 Authoritarian regime
147 2.60 Authoritarian regime
148 2.53 Authoritarian regime
149 2.53 Authoritarian regime
150 2.45 Authoritarian regime
151 2.43 Authoritarian regime
152 2.37 Authoritarian regime
153 2.31 Authoritarian regime
154 2.28 Authoritarian regime
155 2.19 Authoritarian regime
156 2.18 Authoritarian regime
157 2.10 Authoritarian regime
158 2.09 Authoritarian regime
159 2.00 Authoritarian regime
160 1.99 Authoritarian regime
161 1.90 Authoritarian regime
162 1.86 Authoritarian regime
163 1.77 Authoritarian regime
164 1.74 Authoritarian regime
165 1.72 Authoritarian regime
166 1.52 Authoritarian regime
167 0.86 Authoritarian regime


See also



References

  1. The Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy 2008


External links




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