Democracy Countries 2021

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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. Representative democracy is a system where citizens choose government representatives among their citizens. 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 fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties are 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

Republics differ from direct democracies. A republic is "a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives." Many modern democracies are republic because the citizens elect representatives rather than govern the state themselves.

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. 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 voted by the population, and those officials must adhere to the government's rules 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 according to the people's will.

The United States, like other large governments, is not entirely 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 on 60 indicator groups in five different categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Each country is scored between 0 and 10 in each of the five categories, then averaged for an overall score. Overall scores between 8.01 and 10 are considered full democracies, which there are 22 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. Finland (9.25)
  6. Ireland (9.24)
  7. Canada (9.22)
  8. Denmark (9.22)
  9. Australia (9.09)
  10. Switzerland (9.03)

According to the index, several 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. These nations tend to have the most corruption.

Democracy Countries 2021

Country Democracy Score Electoral Process and Pluralism Functioning of Government Political Participation Political Culture Civil Liberties 2021 Population
Norway9.87109.6410109.715,465,630
Iceland9.58109.298.89109.71343,353
Sweden9.399.589.648.33109.4110,160,169
New Zealand9.26109.298.898.13104,860,643
Finland9.25108.938.898.759.715,548,360
Ireland9.24107.868.3310104,982,907
Denmark9.22109.298.339.389.125,813,298
Canada9.229.589.647.789.389.7138,067,903
Australia9.09108.937.788.751025,788,215
Switzerland9.039.589.297.789.389.128,715,494
Netherlands9.019.589.298.338.759.1217,173,099
Luxembourg8.81108.936.678.759.71634,814
Germany8.689.588.578.337.59.1283,900,473
United Kingdom8.529.587.58.897.59.1268,207,116
Uruguay8.38108.576.117.59.713,485,151
Austria8.299.587.147.788.138.829,043,070
Spain8.299.587.147.788.138.8246,745,216
Mauritius8.229.178.215.568.759.411,273,433
Costa Rica8.139.587.56.677.59.415,139,052
France8.129.587.56.677.59.4165,426,179
Chile8.089.587.867.786.888.5319,212,361
Portugal8.039.587.866.117.59.1210,167,925
South Korea89.177.867.227.58.2451,305,186
Japan7.998.758.216.677.58.82126,050,804
United States7.969.177.147.787.58.24332,915,073
Malta7.959.177.56.118.138.82442,784
Estonia7.99.587.866.676.888.531,325,185
Israel7.869.177.866.676.888.538,789,774
Botswana7.819.177.146.117.59.122,397,241
Cape Verde7.789.177.366.676.888.82561,898
Taiwan7.739.588.216.115.639.1223,855,010
Czech Republic7.699.586.796.676.888.5310,724,555
Belgium7.649.588.2156.888.5311,632,326
Cyprus7.599.176.436.676.888.821,215,584
Italy7.529.586.077.786.257.9460,367,477
Slovenia7.59.586.796.676.258.242,078,724
Lithuania7.59.586.436.116.258.242,689,862
Latvia7.499.586.076.116.888.821,866,942
Greece7.439.584.866.677.58.5310,370,744
South Africa7.247.427.58.3357.9460,041,994
Timor Leste7.199.586.295.566.887.651,343,873
Slovakia7.179.587.145.565.637.945,460,721
Trinidad And Tobago7.169.587.146.115.637.351,403,375
Malaysia7.169.177.866.676.255.8832,776,194
Colombia7.139.176.795.565.638.5351,265,844
Panama7.059.586.076.6757.944,381,579
Bulgaria7.039.176.437.224.387.946,896,663
Argentina7.029.176.437.224.387.9445,605,826
Suriname6.989.176.436.6757.65591,800
Jamaica6.968.757.144.446.258.242,973,463
India6.98.676.796.675.636.761,393,409,038
Brazil6.869.585.366.1158.24213,993,437
Tunisia6.729.175.717.225.635.8811,935,766
Philippines6.649.175.367.224.387.06111,046,913
Hungary6.638.756.0756.257.069,634,164
Ghana6.638.335.716.676.256.1831,732,129
Poland6.629.176.076.114.387.3537,797,005
Peru6.69.1755.565.637.6533,359,418
Croatia6.579.176.075.5657.064,081,651
Lesotho6.549.174.56.675.636.762,159,079
Dominican Republic6.549.175.366.1157.0610,953,703
Mongolia6.59.175.715.5657.063,329,289
Romania6.499.175.715.564.387.6519,127,774
Indonesia6.487.927.146.115.635.59276,361,783
Namibia6.436.585.366.675.637.942,587,344
Serbia6.418.255.366.1157.358,697,550
Ecuador6.338.755.366.114.387.0617,888,475
Thailand6.327.425.366.116.256.4769,950,850
Sri Lanka6.2776.075.566.256.4721,497,310
Paraguay6.248.755.7154.387.357,219,638
Guyana6.156.925.366.1157.35790,326
El Salvador6.159.174.646.113.757.066,518,499
Mexico6.097.836.077.223.136.18130,262,216
Papua New Guinea6.036.926.073.895.637.659,119,010
Singapore6.023.927.8656.257.065,896,686
Hong Kong6.023.584.366.117.58.537,552,810
North Macedonia5.9775.366.673.757.062,082,658
Ukraine5.97.422.716.676.256.4743,466,819
Albania5.8975.364.4457.652,872,933
Bangladesh5.887.836.076.114.385166,303,498
Fiji5.856.585.366.115.635.59902,906
Senegal5.816.086.074.446.256.1817,196,301
Moldova5.756.584.646.114.387.064,024,019
Montenegro5.655.675.366.114.386.76628,053
Madagascar5.647.923.576.115.63528,427,328
Armenia5.547.55.366.113.130.562,968,127
Malawi5.56.084.2955.8819,647,684
Liberia5.457.423.075.565.635.595,180,203
Georgia5.427.833.216.114.385.593,979,765
Honduras5.427.834.294.444.386.1810,062,991
Bhutan5.38.756.792.784.383.82779,898
Nepal5.284.835.3655.635.5929,674,920
Guatemala5.266.924.643.894.386.4718,249,860
Kenya5.183.55.716.675.634.4154,985,698
Tanzania5.165.75555.634.4161,498,437
Morocco5.15.254.645.565.634.4137,344,795
Benin5.094.675.714.445.630.512,451,040
Zambia5.094.752.934.446.886.4718,920,651
Uganda5.024.333.574.446.885.8847,123,531
Mali4.926.423.073.895.635.5920,855,735
Kyrgyzstan4.896.082.936.673.7556,628,356
Bosnia And Herzegovina4.866.172.935.563.755.883,263,466
Sierra Leone4.866.582.863.336.255.298,141,343
Bolivia4.844.753.9353.756.7611,832,940
Haiti4.574.752.073.896.255.8811,541,685
Lebanon4.363.921.56.6754.716,769,146
Gambia4.3344.293.335.634.412,486,945
Pakistan4.256.085.712.222.54.71225,199,937
Nigeria4.125.173.933.333.754.41211,400,708
Turkey4.093.085554.1285,042,738
Ivory Coast4.054.332.863.335.634.1227,053,629
Burkina Faso4.043.922.714.4454.1221,497,096
Algeria4.013.082.86554.1244,616,624
Kuwait3.933.584.293.894.383.534,328,550
Jordan3.933.584.293.894.383.5310,269,021
Mauritania3.923.53.5753.134.414,775,119
Palestine3.893.330.147.784.384.385,222,748
Iraq3.745.2506.6751.7641,179,350
Angola3.722.252.865.5652.9433,933,610
Mozambique3.652.582.14553.5332,163,047
Gabon3.612.582.214.4453.822,278,825
Nicaragua3.551.252.863.895.632.356,702,385
Myanmar3.553.083.932.785.632.3554,806,012
Cambodia3.530.834.643.335.633.2416,946,438
Ethiopia3.440.423.575.5652.65117,876,227
Togo3.33.171.793.3353.248,478,250
Qatar3.1904.292.225.633.822,930,528
Rwanda3.161.424.292.784.382.9413,276,513
Zimbabwe3.1602.54.445.633.2415,092,171
Comoros3.152.082.213.893.753.82888,451
Eswatini3.140.922.862.785.633.531,172,362
Guinea3.143.50.434.444.382.9413,497,244
Republic Of The Congo3.112.172.53.893.753.245,657,013
Russia3.112.171.7952.54.12145,912,025
Vietnam3.0803.213.895.632.6598,168,833
Oman3.062.673.213.333.752.355,223,375
Egypt3.062.673.213.333.752.35104,258,327
Venezuela2.8801.7954.383.2428,704,954
Cameroon2.851.672.53.334.382.3527,224,265
Afghanistan2.853.420.643.893.8239,835,428
Cuba2.8403.573.334.382.9411,317,505
Djibouti2.770.421.293.895.632.651,002,187
United Arab Emirates2.7603.932.2252.659,991,089
Azerbaijan2.750.53.212.783.753.5310,223,342
Sudan2.701.7951.1844,909,353
Guinea Bissau2.634.9202.783.132.352,015,494
Bahrain2.550.832.712.784.382.061,748,296
Belarus2.480.9222.784.382.359,442,862
Iran2.3802.864.443.131.4785,028,759
Eritrea2.3702.141.676.881.183,601,467
China2.2604.293.332.51.181,444,216,107
Burundi2.1500.073.3352.3512,255,433
Laos2.1402.861.6750.887,379,358
Libya2.02002.784.382.946,958,532
Uzbekistan2.010.081.862.2250.8833,935,763
Yemen1.95003.8950.8830,490,640
Tajikistan1.930.080.791.676.250.889,749,627
Saudi Arabia1.9302.862.223.131.4735,340,683
Equatorial Guinea1.9200.433.334.381.471,449,896
Turkmenistan1.7200.792.2250.596,117,924
Chad1.61001.673.752.6516,914,985
Syria1.43002.784.38018,275,702
Central African Republic1.321.2501.111.882.354,919,981
North Korea1.0802.51.671.25025,887,041

Democracy Countries 2021