Democracy Countries 2019

What is a democracy? A democracy is a form of government where the citizens of the nation have the power to vote. There are several different types of democracies. A representative democracy is a system where citizens choose government representatives among their citizens. A direct democracy is when the citizens form a governing body and vote directly on issues. A constitutional democracy limits the powers of government through the nation’s constitution.

Political scientist Larry Diamond put it best when he said that a democracy must contain four critical elements. These elements are:

  • A system of elections used to choose and replace the government
  • Protection of human rights of all people
  • Active participation of citizens in politics and civics
  • All laws apply equally to all citizens

True democracy, also known as direct democracy or pure democracy, is a form of democracy in which people decide on policy initiatives directly. True democracies are often synonymous with full democracies.

Full democracies are nations where basic political freedoms and civil liberties are both respected and reinforced by the political culture. Full democracies have valid systems of checks and balances, an adequately functioning government, an independent and authoritative judiciary, and a media free from infringement.

Constitutional Republic vs. Democratic Republic

Both a constitutional republic and a democratic republic are forms of government where the power rests with the people and is exercised through representative government, and the government has an elected head of state.

In a constitutional republic, the government is limited by the laws established in its formal constitution. The government is run by elected officials who are voted on by the population and those officials must adhere to the rules of government in the constitution.

A democratic republic runs the government how a republic does and bases its government on democratic ideals. To best explain this, the United States can be used as an example. The United States has free and fair elections and citizen participation in government. Additionally, the U.S. protects the human rights of its citizens and honors the rule of law. These four things make the United States a democracy. The fact that the United States has elected government officials and an elected head of government who make laws in accordance to the people’s will.

The United States, like other large governments, is in completely described by a single term and is a hybrid of multiple terms. The United States is both a constitutional democracy and a democratic republic.

The Democracy Index

The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The index measures the states of democracy in 167 based o 60 indicator groups in five different categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Each country was given a score between 0 and 10 in each of the five categories, which was then averaged for an overall score. Overall scores between 8.01 and 10 are considered to be full democracies, which there are 20 of in the world. There are ten countries with scores of 9.0 or higher. These are the most democratic nations in the world.

The most democratic nations in the world are:

  1. Norway (9.87)
  2. Iceland (9.58)
  3. Sweden (9.39)
  4. New Zealand (9.26)
  5. Denmark (9.22)
  6. Ireland (9.15)
  7. Canada (9.15)
  8. Finland (9.14)
  9. Australia (9.09)
  10. Switzerland (9.03)

According to the index, a number of nations are classified as “flawed democracies.” While elections are free and fair and there are basic civil liberties, there are faults in other aspects, such as low levels of participation in politics and civics or an underdeveloped political culture.

Country Democracy Score Electoral Process and Pluralism Functioning of Government Political Participation Political Culture Civil Liberties Population 2019
North Korea1.0802.51.671.25025,666,161
Syria1.43002.784.38017,070,135
Dr Congo1.490.50.712.223.130.8886,790,567
Central African Republic1.522.2501.111.882.354,745,185
Chad1.61001.673.752.6515,946,876
Turkmenistan1.7200.792.2250.595,942,089
Equatorial Guinea1.9200.433.334.381.471,355,986
Saudi Arabia1.9302.862.223.131.4734,268,528
Tajikistan1.930.080.791.676.250.889,321,018
Yemen1.95003.8950.8829,161,922
Guinea Bissau1.981.6702.783.132.351,920,922
Uzbekistan2.010.081.862.2250.8832,981,716
Sudan2.1501.792.7851.1842,813,238
Libya2.1910.361.6752.946,777,452
Burundi2.3300.433.8952.3511,530,580
Eritrea2.3702.141.676.881.183,497,117
Laos2.370.832.861.6751.477,169,455
Iran2.4503.214.443.131.4782,913,906
Azerbaijan2.650.52.143.333.753.5310,047,718
Bahrain2.710.833.212.784.382.351,641,172
United Arab Emirates2.7603.932.2252.659,770,529
Djibouti2.870.421.793.895.632.65973,560
Kazakhstan2.940.52.144.444.383.2418,551,427
Russia2.942.171.7952.53.24145,872,256
Afghanistan2.972.921.144.442.53.8238,041,754
Cuba31.083.573.334.382.6511,333,483
Oman3.0403.932.784.384.124,974,986
Vietnam3.0803.213.895.632.6596,462,106
Togo3.13.170.793.3353.248,082,366
Belarus3.130.922.863.895.632.359,452,411
Guinea3.143.50.434.444.382.9412,771,246
Zimbabwe3.160.524.445.633.2414,645,468
Venezuela3.161.671.794.444.383.5328,515,829
Qatar3.1904.292.225.633.822,832,067
Cameroon3.283.172.863.334.382.6525,876,380
Republic Of The Congo3.313.172.53.893.753.245,380,508
China3.32053.896.251.471,433,783,686
Ethiopia3.3503.575.5652.65112,078,730
Rwanda3.351.6752.784.382.9412,626,950
Egypt3.363.583.213.333.752.94100,388,073
Algeria3.52.582.213.8953.8243,053,054
Cambodia3.591.3352.785.633.2416,486,542
Gabon3.612.582.214.4453.822,172,579
Angola3.621.752.865.5652.9431,825,295
Nicaragua3.632.671.863.895.634.126,545,502
Comoros3.714.332.214.443.753.82850,886
Niger3.765.251.143.334.384.7123,310,715
Mauritania3.8233.5753.134.414,525,696
Myanmar3.833.673.933.895.632.0654,045,420
Kuwait3.853.174.293.894.383.534,207,083
Mozambique3.853.582.14553.5330,366,036
Jordan3.933.584.293.894.383.5310,101,694
Iraq4.064.750.076.6753.8239,309,783
Ivory Coast4.154.832.863.335.634.1225,716,544
Pakistan4.176.085.362.222.54.71216,565,318
Gambia4.314.484.293.335.633.822,347,706
Turkey4.374.55552.3583,429,615
Palestine4.393.832.147.784.383.824,981,420
Nigeria4.446.084.643.333.754.41200,963,599
Lebanon4.633.922.216.675.634.716,855,713
Thailand4.6334.29555.8869,625,582
Sierra Leone4.666.581.863.336.255.297,813,215
Burkina Faso4.754.424.294.445.63520,321,378
Armenia4.795.674.645.562.55.592,957,731
Haiti4.915.582.933.896.255.8811,263,077
Bosnia And Herzegovina4.986.52.935.563.756.183,301,000
Morocco4.995.254.6455.634.4136,471,769
Kenya5.113.55.366.675.634.4152,573,973
Kyrgyzstan5.116.582.936.674.3856,415,850
Nepal5.184.335.3655.635.5928,608,710
Uganda5.25.253.574.446.885.8844,269,594
Madagascar5.226.083.576.115.634.7126,969,307
Bhutan5.38.756.792.784.383.82763,092
Liberia5.357.422.575.565.635.594,937,374
Mali5.417.423.933.895.636.1819,658,031
Tanzania5.417555.634.4158,005,463
Malawi5.496.584.294.446.255.8818,628,747
Georgia5.57.833.576.114.385.593,996,765
Bangladesh5.577.835.075.564.385163,046,161
Guatemala5.67.925.363.894.386.4717,581,472
Zambia5.616.174.643.896.886.4717,861,030
Honduras5.638.54.644.444.386.189,746,117
Ukraine5.696.173.216.676.256.1843,993,638
Bolivia5.77.54.645.563.757.0611,513,100
Benin5.746.55.7155.635.8811,801,151
Montenegro5.746.085.366.114.386.76627,987
Fiji5.856.585.366.115.635.59889,953
Moldova5.857.084.646.114.387.064,043,263
Macedonia5.876.55.366.673.757.062,083,459
El Salvador5.969.174.295.563.757.066,453,553
Albania5.9874.715.5657.652,880,917
Papua New Guinea6.036.926.073.895.637.658,776,109
Hong Kong6.153.086.075.567.58.537,436,154
Senegal6.157.56.074.446.256.4716,296,364
Sri Lanka6.197.835.7156.256.1821,323,733
Mexico6.198.336.077.223.136.18127,575,529
Paraguay6.248.755.7154.387.357,044,636
Namibia6.255.675.366.675.637.942,494,530
Ecuador6.278.755.366.114.386.7617,373,662
Romania6.389.175.7154.387.6519,364,557
Singapore6.384.337.866.116.257.355,804,337
Indonesia6.396.927.146.675.635.59270,625,568
Serbia6.418.255.366.1157.358,772,235
Tunisia6.416.425.717.786.255.8811,694,719
Mongolia6.59.175.715.5657.063,225,167
Dominican Republic6.549.175.366.1157.0610,738,958
Croatia6.579.176.075.5657.064,130,304
Peru6.69.1755.565.637.6532,510,453
Ghana6.638.335.716.676.256.1830,417,856
Hungary6.638.756.0756.257.069,684,679
Lesotho6.649.1756.675.636.762,125,268
Guyana6.679.175.716.1157.35782,766
Poland6.679.176.076.114.387.6537,887,768
Philippines6.719.175.717.224.387.06108,116,615
Malaysia6.887.757.866.676.255.8831,949,777
Colombia6.969.176.7955.638.2450,339,443
Brazil6.979.585.366.6758.24211,049,527
Suriname6.989.176.436.6757.65581,372
Argentina7.029.175.366.116.258.2444,780,677
Jamaica7.028.757.144.446.258.532,948,279
Bulgaria7.039.176.437.224.387.947,000,119
Panama7.059.586.076.6757.944,246,439
Slovakia7.19.586.795.565.637.945,457,013
Trinidad And Tobago7.169.587.146.115.637.351,394,973
India7.239.176.797.225.637.351,366,417,754
South Africa7.247.427.58.3357.9458,558,270
Greece7.299.585.366.116.888.5310,473,455
Latvia7.389.586.075.566.888.821,906,743
Lithuania7.59.586.436.116.259.122,759,627
Slovenia7.59.586.796.676.258.242,078,654
Cyprus7.599.176.436.676.888.821,198,575
Czech Republic7.699.586.796.676.888.5310,689,209
Italy7.719.586.077.786.888.2460,550,075
Taiwan7.739.588.216.115.639.1223,773,876
Belgium7.789.588.9356.888.5311,539,328
Israel7.799.177.58.897.55.888,519,377
France7.89.587.57.785.638.5365,129,728
Botswana7.819.177.146.117.59.122,303,697
Portugal7.849.587.56.116.889.1210,226,187
Cape Verde7.889.177.866.676.888.82549,935
United States7.969.177.147.787.58.24329,064,917
Chile7.979.588.574.448.139.1218,952,038
Estonia7.979.588.216.676.888.531,325,648
Japan7.998.758.216.677.58.82126,860,301
South Korea89.177.867.227.58.2451,225,308
Costa Rica8.079.587.56.677.59.125,047,561
Spain8.089.177.147.787.58.8246,736,776
Malta8.219.178.216.118.758.82440,372
Mauritius8.229.178.215.568.759.411,269,668
Austria8.299.587.868.336.888.828,955,102
Uruguay8.38108.576.117.59.713,461,734
United Kingdom8.539.587.58.338.139.1267,530,172
Germany8.689.588.578.337.59.4183,517,045
Luxembourg8.81108.936.678.759.71615,729
Netherlands8.899.589.298.338.139.1217,097,130
Switzerland9.039.589.297.789.389.128,591,365
Australia9.09108.937.788.751025,203,198
Finland9.14108.938.338.759.715,532,156
Canada9.159.589.647.788.751037,411,047
Ireland9.159.587.868.3310104,882,495
Denmark9.22109.298.339.389.125,771,876
New Zealand9.26109.298.898.13104,783,063
Sweden9.399.589.648.33109.4110,036,379
Iceland9.58109.298.89109.71339,031
Norway9.87109.6410109.715,378,857