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Highlights of Global Democracy Index 2019

Published on Saturday, February 22, 2020
Highlights of Global Democracy Index 2019

  • The Global Democracy Index 2019 has been released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The index highlights the state of democracy around the world. The index has captured the state of Democracy in 167 countries (165 independent states and two territories).
  • This is the 12th edition of the index. It was started in the year 2006.
  • Global Democracy Index 2019 provides scores to countries on 0 to 10 scale based on 60 indicators which are divided into the following five categories-
    • Electoral process and pluralism
    • Civil liberties
    • The functioning of government
    • Political participation
    • Political culture
  • The index also divides the countries into four different types of democracies/regimes-
    • Full democracies: These are the country where democracy is flourishing but there are limited problems in the functioning of democracies. Countries with scores greater than 8 are termed as full democracies.
    • Flawed democracies: These countries have free and fair elections but have significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance. Countries with scores greater than 6 and less than or equal to 8 are termed as Flawed democracies.
    • Hybrid regimes: In these countries, substantial irregularities often prevent elections from being both free and fair. Weaknesses are stronger than in flawed democracies—in political culture, the functioning of government and political participation. Government Pressure and Corruption also prevails. Countries with scores greater than 4 and less than or equal to 6 are termed as Hybrid regimes.
    • Authoritarian regimes: In these countries, state political pluralism is absent. They can be considered to have a dictatorship. Even if elections take to occur, they are not at all free and fair. Countries with scores less than or equal to 4 are Authoritarians regimes.

Key Findings

  • As per the Global Democracy Index, about one-half (48.4%) of the world’s population live in some sort of democracy.
  • As per the index, the average global score for democracy has fallen from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44 which is the worst average global score since 2006.
  • Out of the 167 countries covered in the index, 76 countries can be referred to as “democracies” (45.5%).
  • The numbers of full democracies in the year 2019 have increased to 22 from 20 in 2018 index.
  • There are 54 Flawed democracies, 37 Hybrid regimes and 54 authoritarian regimes as per 2019 Democracy Index.
  • The numbers of flawed economies were 55 in 2018 while hybrid and authoritarian economies were 39 and 52 respectively in the last year index.
  • In 2019, 68 countries have shown a decline in their overall score as compared to the previous year index while 65 countries have recorded improvement.
  • Norway is the topmost country on the index while North Korea is placed at the bottom of the list.

Top 5 countries

Country Rank
Norway 1
Iceland 2
Sweden 3
New Zealand 4
Finland 5

Bottom 5 countries

Country Rank
Chad 163
Syria 164
The central African Republic 165
Dem. Republic of Congo 166
North Korea 167

India Specific Findings

  • India has been ranked 51st in the Global Democracy Index.
  • India has an overall score of 6.90 while a score of 8.67 in the Electoral process and pluralism.
  • India has slipped 10 places from the previous year Index.
  • India has been included in Flawed Economy category.


Q: 1. What is the rank of India in EIU’s Global Democracy Index 2019?
1. 42nd
2. 51st
3. 63rd
4. 71st
5. 36th
Answer- 2

Explanation- India has been ranked 51st in the Global Democracy Index and has an overall score of 6.90.

Q: 2. Which country has topped the Global Democracy Index 2019?
1. Norway
2. Iceland
3. Sweden
4. New Zealand
5. Finland
Answer- 1

Explanation- Norway has topped the Global Democracy Index with an overall score of 9.87.
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