The most impressive performer of 2017 is the Gambia.
The country welcomed its first ever democratic government last year after 22 years of rule by dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
The Gambia’s score improved by 2.91 and is upgraded to a “hybrid regime” from an “authoritarian regime” and moved up 30 places in the rankings.
The biggest drop came from Indonesia, which fell from 48th to 68th, while Venezuela declined into the ‘authoritarian regime’ category this year.
The United States remained in the ‘flawed democracy’ threshold, to which it dropped in 2016 after a serious decline in public trust, the Economist said.
Overall, across the world, the sad reality is that democratic norms are slipping, according to the figures. Things that are being affected include declining trust in institutions, erosion of civil liberties and curbs on freedom of speech.
For the seventh year in a row, Norway remains the most democratic nation, while Western Europe accounts for 14 of the 19 full democracies.
However, the region’s score slipped slightly to an average of 8.38 out of 10. The Spanish government’s attempt to overturn Catalonia’s Independence referendum in October 2017 caused the nation’s score to drop by 0.22 points, just 0.08 points from the ‘flawed democracy’ category.
Top 10 most democratic countries in the world:
- New Zealand