Across the world, 49.3 percent of people live in some form of democracy with only 4.5 percent living in full democracies. That’s according to a new study spanning 165 countries conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit. 89 nations saw their democracy score fall compared to last year with only 27 improving and the rest stagnating. The research was based on criteria including civil liberties, the electoral process and pluralism, government functionality, political participation and political culture with the countries rated on a 0 to 10 scale.
Northern Europe leads the way for democracy with Norway recording the highest score, 9.87. Iceland came second with 9.58 while Sweden was third with 9.39. In the same study last year, the U.S. was downgraded from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy” and this year, it only comes 21st with a score of 7.98. North Korea comes last, scoring 1.08 out of 10 while Chad and Syria complete the bottom three. Saudi Arabia is also present on the list of the world’s 10 worst democracies despite the fact that the U.S. and the UK have sold it billions of dollars worth of weapons. It comes joint 159th with Tajikistan with both countries scoring 1.93 out of 10.