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Electoral pluralism index

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Electoral pluralism index
Extent to which all citizens can choose their political leaders in free and fair elections. Higher values indicate more pluralism.
Source
Economist Intelligence Unit (2006-2023) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 22, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
2006–2023

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The Democracy Index, which began in 2006, provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world's states (microstates are excluded). The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then classified as one of four types of regime: "full democracy", "flawed democracy", "hybrid regime" or "authoritarian regime". A full methodology and explanations can be found in the Appendix.

This edition of the Democracy Index records how global democracy fared in 2021. The results reflect the continuing negative impact of the covid-19 pandemic on democracy and freedom around the world for a second successive year. The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented withdrawal of civil liberties among developed democracies and authoritarian regimes alike, through the imposition of lockdowns and restrictions on travelling and, increasingly, the introduction of "green passes" requiring proof of vaccination against covid-19 for participation in public life. It has led to the normalisation of emergency powers, which have tended to stay on the statute books, and accustomed citizens to a huge extension of state power over large areas of public and personal life.

Retrieved on
May 22, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Economist Intelligence Unit. (2022, February 10). Democracy Index 2021: The China Challenge. Retrieved from Economist Group.

The Democracy Index, which began in 2006, provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world's states (microstates are excluded). The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then classified as one of four types of regime: "full democracy", "flawed democracy", "hybrid regime" or "authoritarian regime". A full methodology and explanations can be found in the Appendix.

This edition of the Democracy Index examines the state of global democracy in 2022. The global results are discussed in this introduction, and the results by region are analysed in greater detail in the section entitled "Democracy around the regions in 2022" (see page 30). According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's measure of democracy, almost half of the world's population live in a democracy of some sort (45.3%). Only 8% reside in a "full democracy", compared with 8.9% in 2015, before the US was demoted from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" in 2016. More than one-third of the world's population live under authoritarian rule (36.9%), with a large share of them being in China and Russia.

Retrieved on
May 22, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Economist Intelligence Unit. (2023, February 1). Democracy Index 2022: Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine. Retrieved from Economist Group.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy in 165 independent states and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world's states (microstates are excluded). Scored on a 0-10 scale, the Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is classified as one of four types of regime: "full democracy", "flawed democracy", "hybrid regime" or "authoritarian regime". A full methodology and explanations can be found in the Appendix.

This edition of the Democracy Index examines the state of global democracy in 2023. The global results are discussed in this introduction, and the results by region are analysed in greater detail in the section entitled "Democracy around the regions in 2023" (see page 35). The good news is that the number of countries classified as democracies increased by two, to 74, in 2023. However, measured by other metrics, the year was not an auspicious one for democracy. The global average index score fell to 5.23, down from 5.29 in 2022. This is in keeping with a general trend of regression and stagnation in recent years, and it marks a new low since the index began in 2006. Most of the regression occurred among the non-democracies classified as "hybrid regimes" and "authoritarian regimes". Between 2022 and 2023 the average score for "authoritarian regimes" fell by 0.12 points and that for "hybrid regimes" by 0.07 points. The year-on-year decline in the average score of the "full democracies" and "flawed democracies" was modest by comparison, falling by 0.01 and 0.03 points respectively. This suggests that non-democratic regimes are becoming more entrenched, and "hybrid regimes" are struggling to democratise.

According to our measure of democracy, almost half of the world's population live in a democracy of some sort (45.4%). Only 7.8% reside in a "full democracy", down from 8.9% in 2015; this percentage fell after the US was demoted from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" in 2016. More than one-third of the world's population live under authoritarian rule (39.4%), a share that has been creeping up in recent years.

According to the 2023 Democracy Index, 74 of the 167 countries and territories covered by the model are democracies of some type. The number of "full democracies" (those scoring more than 8.00 out of 10) remained at 24 in 2023, the same as the previous year. The number of "flawed democracies" increased from 48 in 2022 to 50 in 2023. Of the remaining 95 countries in our index, 34 are classified as "hybrid regimes", combining elements of formal democracy and authoritarianism, and 59 are classified as "authoritarian regimes". For a full explanation of the index methodology and categories, see page 63.

The title of this year's Democracy Index report is Age of Conflict. The world's democracies seem powerless to prevent wars from breaking out around the globe and less adept at managing conflict at home. In 2023 wars in Africa, Europe and the Middle East caused immense suffering and undermined prospects for positive political change. As US hegemony is increasingly contested, China vies for global influence, and emerging powers such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey assert their interests, the international order is becoming more unstable. Meanwhile, even the world's most developed democracies are struggling to manage political and social conflict at home, suggesting that the democratic model developed during the eight decades after the second world war is no longer working. We explore these developments in an essay in the second section of the report, and examine the relationship between democracy and conflict at home and abroad.

Retrieved on
May 22, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Economist Intelligence Unit. (2024, February 15). Democracy Index 2023: Age of Conflict. Retrieved from Economist Group.

The Democracy Index measures the quality of the democracy in a country and is produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit and published on a yearly basis.

Gapminder has combined the numbers from all the years the index has been published, into an online spreadsheet, also downloadable as an Excel file.

Retrieved on
May 22, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Democracy Index. Economist Intelligence Unit (2006-2020). Obtained via Gapminder 2021.

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Citations

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To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Electoral pluralism index”, part of the following publication: Bastian Herre, Lucas Rodés-Guirao, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser (2013) - “Democracy”. Data adapted from Economist Intelligence Unit, Gapminder. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/electoral-pluralism-index-eiu [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Economist Intelligence Unit (2006-2023) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Economist Intelligence Unit (2006-2023) – processed by Our World in Data. “Electoral pluralism index” [dataset]. Economist Intelligence Unit, “Democracy Index 2021: The China challenge”; Economist Intelligence Unit, “Democracy Index 2022: Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine”; Economist Intelligence Unit, “Democracy Index 2023: Age of Conflict”; Gapminder, “Democracy Index v4” [original data]. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/electoral-pluralism-index-eiu