The state of


In early 2020, the Economist Intelligence Unit produced the 12th edition of the Democracy Index. The report concluded that global democracy is in its most fragile state since the first edition in 2006. Then, in 2021 the numbers became even worse.

This is the story of freedom (or lack of) in the 23 full democracies, 57 authoritarian states and the 87 nations and regions that find themselves somewhere in between the two.

Read on for a summary, or jump straight to the data. All scores are out of ten, unless otherwise noted.


Global average score, the lowest it's been since 2006


Where are we struggling?

With only an average score of 4.68, the world struggles the most with maintaining functional governments. Furthermore, 10 countries lack any sort of functional government.

"It is clear that there is a growing deficit of trust between people and political establishments, and rising threats to the social contract."

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, October 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to fall .

After years of rocky progress, the past two years have seen that progress reversed with it's regional score now at 4.16.

Reversing the progress of last year.

Two of the three (France & Portugal) new full democracies from 2020 found themselves returning to flawed democracy status.

The Greatest Drop: Mali

Mali faced a military coup, attacks from jihadist insurgents and lost control of large amounts of it's land. This lead to their score dropping by 0.99 and being reclassified as an “authoritarian regime”.


Taiwan &

South Korea

were upgraded to full democracies.

Nordic nations continue leading.

All five nations in the Nordic region remain in the top seven and the regional score is 9.36.

The Largest Gain: Taiwan

Despite regional pressure, Taiwan ran a very successful election. Their scored was raised by 1.21 thanks to the nation's continued commitment to democracy.

Explore the data


Top 30

Leading the way towards freedom.


Bottom 30

Still have a long way to go.


Every country

(Not including microstates)

Asia Pacific

Averages 5.62 overall.

Central & East Europe

Averages 5.36 overall.

Latin America

Averages 6.09 overall.

Middle East & North Africa

Averages 3.44 overall.

North America

Averages 8.58 overall.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Averages 4.16 overall.

Western Europe

Averages 8.29 overall.