Democracy Countries 2024

What is the purpose of a democratic system? Democracy is derived from the Greek terms for citizen (demos) and the Greek word kratos, which means power or authority.

A democracy is, at its core, a type of governance in which the people of a country have the authority to choose the rules by which they will live. In a direct democracy (sometimes known as a genuine or pure democracy), these choices are made by the people themselves.

In contrast, in a representative democracy, elected representatives vote on behalf of their voters.

Democracy is not the same in every country. Many forms of democracy exist, such as constitutional democracy, green democracy, demarchy, illiberal democracy, and industrial democracy.

One expert estimated that there were more than 2,000 distinct forms of democracy. In addition, several of these subcategories are also subcategories of one another. The upshot is that any democracy may be divided into several sorts.

Because most decisions are made by representatives acting on behalf of the people, the United States is a representative democracy. In a presidential democracy, the head of government is also the head of state and executive branch leader.

As a constitutional democracy, its fundamental principles & laws are guided by a constitution (which some argue makes the US a republic rather than a democracy—more on that below). Finally, the United States is a multi-faceted democracy.

Democracy Countries 2022

What are the must-have components of a democratic society?

There are several hypotheses about what characteristics must be present in a government to be democratic. For example, the Economist Intelligence Unit evaluates each country in five different areas when creating its annual Democracy Index, which we may study to establish some of the Economist’s democratic wish lists:

  1. A system where at least two legitimate but distinct political parties co-exist
  2. Elections that allow the public to vote between candidates from those parties in a fair and open procedure
  3. A government that functions honestly and transparently works for the benefit of all residents observes its laws, has adequate checks and balances and allows its citizens free choice & control over their lives is a government that is representative of the people it serves.
  4. Members of the general public with a strong sense of civic duty and a commitment to democratic ideals, fight fair, vote frequently, and accept the people’s verdict.
  5. The preservation of civil rights and personal freedoms for both the majority and minority is emphasized.
  6. Without government intervention, influence, or intimidation in a free and independent media

This is a similar list put out by Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond, who believes that every democracy must have four basic elements:

  1. Free and fair elections are used to choose and replace government leaders.
  2. Politics and civic life need the active engagement of citizens.
  3. Human rights for all people should be protected.
  4. Laws and processes are applied equally to all people under the rule of law.

All liberal democracies, according to the Museum of Australian Democracy, adhere to four fundamental principles:

  1. Belief in the self: since the self is seen as both moral and logical.
  2. Based on the concept that growth and development are the inherent conditions of humanity and politics is the art of compromise.
  3. Confidence in an orderly society is based on a desire for harmony and cooperation rather than chaos and conflict.
  4. Based on a distrust of concentrated power: confidence in shared power (whether by individuals, groups, or governments).

The Democracy Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit compiles the Democracy Index each year. The index tracks 60 factors in five separate areas, including election process and pluralism, government performance, political involvement, political culture, and civil liberties, to determine how democratic 167 nations throughout the globe are.

Each category is rated on a scale of 0 to 10, and the total index score is calculated by averaging the five category ratings.

To qualify as complete democracies, countries must have a Democracy Index score between 8.01 and 10 (out of 10). This group includes democracies with a score between 6.01 and 8.00.

There are flaws in other parts of these nations, such as minimal engagement in politics or an undeveloped (or extremely politicized) political culture, although they hold free and fair elections.

To qualify as a democracy, a country must score at least 78 out of 100 on the Index of Democracy. Hybrid regimes score between 4.01 and 6.0, whereas authoritarian regimes have a score of less than 4.

According to the 2020 Democracy Index, 23 nations are fully democratic, 52 are imperfect democracies, 35 are hybrid, and 57 are authoritarian.

The following are the world’s 10 most democratic countries by 2020:

  1. Norway (9.87)
  2. Iceland (9.58)
  3. Sweden (9.39)
  4. New Zealand (9.26)
  5. Finland (9.25)
  6. Ireland (9.24)
  7. Canada (9.22)
  8. Denmark (9.22)
  9. Australia (9.09)
  10. Switzerland (9.03)

To return to its previous position of flawed democracy after its 2016 drop from full democracy, the United States was given 7.92 points in 2020.

Concerns about the decline in the nation’s approval rating point to the growing chasm between the Democratic and Republican parties and a lack of tolerance for COVID-19 limitations. See the table at the bottom of this page for the complete list of 167 nations and their 2020 ratings.

Democracy Countries 2022

Is the United States a republic or a democracy?

It’s not always easy to understand the jargon of the political sphere. Whether the United States is a republic or a democracy is often debated in today’s society. However, describing the United States as a hybrid of a republic and a democracy may be more true.

Republics and direct democracies have a lot in common, but they also have a big difference that’s crucial to our discussion.

This kind of government has no elected leaders or a constitutional framework. All decisions are made by direct vote of the people, who have total authority.

Direct democracy has one major flaw: It does not have a constitution that sets forth essential guiding principles, which means that whatever at least 51% of the people wish is what occurs. There aren’t any safeguards in place, and the sky’s the limit.

This means that up to 49.9 percent of the population will have little or no protection under direct democracy.

On the other hand, a republic is a form of government in which the people and their chosen representatives share authority. It is also constrained by a written constitution, which protects minority rights and restricts the misuse of authority.

Examples of constitutional protections include the separation of powers, the Bill of Rights, and the prohibition of slavery, all of which may be found in the United States Constitution and its amendments. Elected authorities must follow the rules of the constitution.

Also See: Dach Countries 2022

Because of these distinctions, many believe the United States to be a republic rather than a democracy. The distinction between direct democracy and a republic is vital to keep in mind.

As with republics, most other forms of democracy rely on elected leaders, and many have a constitution (Magna Carta or another founding document).

As previously said, many political labels are indistinguishable one from the other. More than one phrase adequately describes the majority of governments.

As a consequence, both the republicans and the democrats who describe the United States as such are true. As a constitutional democracy, the United States of America is also a democratic republic.

CountryCategoryTot. ScoreElectoral Process/PluralismFunctioning of Govt.Polit. ParticipationPolit. CulturePolit. Liberties
NorwayFull Democracy9.8100109.640010109.4100
IcelandFull Democracy9.3700108.57008109.4100
SwedenFull Democracy9.260099.29008109.1200
New ZealandFull Democracy9.2500108.9300889.7100
CanadaFull Democracy9.240098.9300899.4100
FinlandFull Democracy9.2000108.9300889.4100
DenmarkFull Democracy9.1500108.9300899.1200
IrelandFull Democracy9.0500107.8600899.7100
AustraliaFull Democracy8.9600108.5700789.7100
NetherlandsFull Democracy8.960099.2900888.8200
TaiwanFull Democracy8.9400109.6400789.7100
SwitzerlandFull Democracy8.830098.5700798.8200
LuxembourgFull Democracy8.6800108.5700689.4100
GermanyFull Democracy8.670098.2100889.1200
UruguayFull Democracy8.6100108.5700689.7100
United KingdomFull Democracy8.5400107.5000878.8200
ChileFull Democracy8.280098.2100688.8200
AustriaFull Democracy8.160097.5000868.5300
Costa RicaFull Democracy8.160096.7900779.7100
MauritiusFull Democracy8.140097.8600688.8200
JapanFull Democracy8.130088.5700688.5300
SpainFull Democracy8.120097.1400788.5300
South KoreaFull Democracy8.010098.2100777.9400
FranceFlawed Democracy7.990097.5000768.2400
United StatesFlawed Democracy7.920096.7900868.5300
PortugalFlawed Democracy7.900097.5000678.8200
IsraelFlawed Democracy7.840097.5000975.5900
EstoniaFlawed Democracy7.840097.8600668.2400
ItalyFlawed Democracy7.740096.4300777.9400
MaltaFlawed Democracy7.680096.7900688.2400
Czech RepublicFlawed Democracy7.670096.0700678.5300
BotswanaFlawed Democracy7.620096.7900678.5300
CyprusFlawed Democracy7.560095.3600778.5300
SloveniaFlawed Democracy7.540096.4300768.2400
BelgiumFlawed Democracy7.510097.8600568.2400
GreeceFlawed Democracy7.390095.2100678.5300
LatviaFlawed Democracy7.240096.0700658.2400
MalaysiaFlawed Democracy7.190097.8600665.5900
PanamaFlawed Democracy7.180096.4300757.6500
Trinidad and TobagoFlawed Democracy7.160097.1400657.3500
JamaicaFlawed Democracy7.130087.1400568.5300
LithuaniaFlawed Democracy7.130096.0700558.8200
Timor-LesteFlawed Democracy7.060095.9300567.3500
South AfricaFlawed Democracy7.050077.1400857.3500
ColombiaFlawed Democracy7.040096.4300657.9400
SlovakiaFlawed Democracy6.970096.4300557.6500
ArgentinaFlawed Democracy6.950095.3600657.9400
BrazilFlawed Democracy6.920095.3600657.9400
PolandFlawed Democracy6.850095.7100657.0600
SurinameFlawed Democracy6.820096.0700657.3500
BulgariaFlawed Democracy6.710095.7100747.0600
IndiaFlawed Democracy6.610087.1400655.5900
TunisiaFlawed Democracy6.590095.3600755.5900
PhilippinesFlawed Democracy6.560095746.4700
HungaryFlawed Democracy6.560086.4300566.7600
PeruFlawed Democracy6.530085.3600557.3500
NamibiaFlawed Democracy6.520075.3600657.9400
GhanaFlawed Democracy6.500085.3600665.8800
CroatiaFlawed Democracy6.500096.0700646.7600
MongoliaFlawed Democracy6.480085.7100556.7600
RomaniaFlawed Democracy6.400095.3600637.0600
Dominican RepublicFlawed Democracy6.320094.2900657.0600
IndonesiaFlawed Democracy6.300077.5000645.5900
LesothoFlawed Democracy6.300094.1400656.4700
SerbiaFlawed Democracy6.220085.3600637.0600
ParaguayFlawed Democracy6.180085.7100547.0600
Sri LankaFlawed Democracy6.140075.7100566.1800
EcuadorFlawed Democracy6.130085636.4700
Papua New GuineaFlawed Democracy6.100066.0700367.9400
AlbaniaFlawed Democracy6.080075.3600467.3500
MexicoFlawed Democracy6.070075.7100735.8800
ThailandFlawed Democracy6.040075665.2900
SingaporeFlawed Democracy6.030047.8600466.7600
GuyanaFlawed Democracy6.010065.3600657.0600
BangladeshHybrid Regime5.990076.0700654.7100
El SalvadorHybrid Regime5.900094.2900636.1800
North MacedoniaHybrid Regime5.890075.7100637.0600
UkraineHybrid Regime5.810082.7100755.8800
MoldovaHybrid Regime5.780074.6400646.7600
MontenegroHybrid Regime5.770075.7100636.4700
MalawiHybrid Regime5.740074.2900566.1800
FijiHybrid Regime5.720065655.2900
BhutanHybrid Regime5.710086.7900354.7100
MadagascarHybrid Regime5.700073.5700654.7100
SenegalHybrid Regime5.670065.7100465.8800
Hong KongHybrid Regime5.570033.6400578.5300
HondurasHybrid Regime5.360074.2900445.8800
ArmeniaHybrid Regime5.350075635
LiberiaHybrid Regime5.320072.7100555.2900
GeorgiaHybrid Regime5.310073.5700635.2900
NepalHybrid Regime5.220045.3600555.2900
TanzaniaHybrid Regime5.100045564.4100
BoliviaHybrid Regime5.080063.5700635.8800
KenyaHybrid Regime5.050035.3600654.1200
MoroccoHybrid Regime5.040054.6400554.1200
GuatemalaHybrid Regime4.970063.9300535.8800
UgandaHybrid Regime4.940043.2100565.2900
ZambiaHybrid Regime4.860042.9300365.8800
Sierra LeoneHybrid Regime4.860062.8600365.2900
BeninHybrid Regime4.580035.3600354.7100
GambiaHybrid Regime4.490044.2900454.1200
TurkeyHybrid Regime4.480035.3600552.3500
PakistanHybrid Regime4.310055.3600324.7100
HaitiHybrid Regime4.220041.7100265.5900
KyrgyzstanHybrid Regime4.210042.9300534.7100
LebanonHybrid Regime4.160031.5000654.1200
Ivory CoastHybrid Regime4.110042.8600353.8200
NigeriaHybrid Regime4.100053.5700334.1200
MaliAuthoritarian Regime3.930050454.4100
MauritaniaAuthoritarian Regime3.920033.5700534.4100
PalestineAuthoritarian Regime3.830030.1400743.5300
KuwaitAuthoritarian Regime3.800033.9300343.2400
AlgeriaAuthoritarian Regime3.770032.5000453.8200
Burkina FasoAuthoritarian Regime3.730032.3600453.8200
AngolaAuthoritarian Regime3.660022.8600552.6500
IraqAuthoritarian Regime3.620050651.1800
JordanAuthoritarian Regime3.620023.9300343.2400
NicaraguaAuthoritarian Regime3.600002.8600554.1200
GabonAuthoritarian Regime3.540021.8600453.8200
MozambiqueAuthoritarian Regime3.510021.4300553.5300
EthiopiaAuthoritarian Regime3.380003.5700552.3500
RussiaAuthoritarian Regime3.310022.1400534.1200
NigerAuthoritarian Regime3.290021.1400344.7100
QatarAuthoritarian Regime3.240004.2900253.5300
ZimbabweAuthoritarian Regime3.160002.5000453.2400
KazakhstanAuthoritarian Regime3.140003.2100533.2400
Republic of the CongoAuthoritarian Regime3.110022.5000333.2400
CambodiaAuthoritarian Regime3.100003.9300352.0600
RwandaAuthoritarian Regime3.100014.2900242.6500
ComorosAuthoritarian Regime3.090022.2100333.5300
GuineaAuthoritarian Regime3.080030.4300442.6500
eSwatiniAuthoritarian Regime3.080002.8600253.2400
MyanmarAuthoritarian Regime3.040013.9300242.3500
OmanAuthoritarian Regime303.9300243.8200
VietnamAuthoritarian Regime2.940002.8600352.3500
EgyptAuthoritarian Regime2.930013.2100351.7600
AfghanistanAuthoritarian Regime2.850030.6400323.8200
CubaAuthoritarian Regime2.840003.5700342.9400
TogoAuthoritarian Regime2.800001.7900352.9400
CameroonAuthoritarian Regime2.770012.1400342.3500
VenezuelaAuthoritarian Regime2.760001.7900542.6500
DjiboutiAuthoritarian Regime2.710001.2900352.3500
United Arab EmiratesAuthoritarian Regime2.700003.9300252.3500
AzerbaijanAuthoritarian Regime2.680002.8600332.9400
Guinea-BissauAuthoritarian Regime2.630040232.3500
BelarusAuthoritarian Regime2.590002352.0600
SudanAuthoritarian Regime2.540001.7900451.4700
BahrainAuthoritarian Regime2.490002.7100241.7600
ChinaAuthoritarian Regime2.270004.2900231.1800
IranAuthoritarian Regime2.200002.5000331.4700
EritreaAuthoritarian Regime2.150002.1400061.1800
BurundiAuthoritarian Regime2.140000352.3500
UzbekistanAuthoritarian Regime2.120001.8600250.8800
Saudi ArabiaAuthoritarian Regime2.080003.5700231.4700
YemenAuthoritarian Regime1.950000350.8800
LibyaAuthoritarian Regime1.950000332.6500
TajikistanAuthoritarian Regime1.940002.2100240.8800
Equatorial GuineaAuthoritarian Regime1.920000.4300341.4700
LaosAuthoritarian Regime1.770002.8600130.5900
TurkmenistanAuthoritarian Regime1.720000.7900250.5900
ChadAuthoritarian Regime1.550000132.3500
SyriaAuthoritarian Regime1.430000240
Central African RepublicAuthoritarian Regime1.320010112.3500
DR CongoAuthoritarian Regime1.130000130.8800
North KoreaAuthoritarian Regime1.080002.5000110

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