Democracy Index 2021 – UPSC Notes

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently released its report: “Democracy Index 2021”. The index attempts to measure the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent countries and two territories. The Democracy Index was first released in 2006.

Overview of the Democracy Index 2021

Published byEconomic Intelligence Unit (EIU)
Top five performers1. Norway
2. New Zealand
3. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Iceland
Bottom five performersCentral African Republic (163rd position).
Democratic Republic of Congo (164th position).
North Korea (165th position).
Myanmar (166th position).
Afghanistan (167th position).
India ranks46th position

About the Democracy Index 2021

The report is based on 60 indicators, grouped into five categories: Functioning of government, Electoral process and pluralism, Civil liberties, Political Participation, and Political Culture.

The index describes the state of democracy in 165 countries and two territories. The Countries are given a rating on a scale of ‘0’ to ’10’. The overall ranking is the average of the five total categories scores.

The index then categorises each country into four types of regimes based on their average scores: Full Democracies, Flawed Democracies, Hybrid Regimes, and Authoritarian Regimes.

Key Highlights of the Democracy Index 2021

Top performing countries in the index

Norway topped the Democracy Index 2021 with an overall score of 9.75, followed by New Zealand at the second position and Finland at the third position.

RankCountryOverall Score
2New Zealand9.37

Bottom 10 performing countries in the index

Afghanistan ranked the bottom-most at 167th position with an overall score of 0.32, followed by Myanmar at 166th position (1.02 score) and North Korea at 165th position (1.08 score).

Countries that showed improvement

Singapore, UAE, Uruguay, Montenegro, India, Republic of Congo, Guyana, Zambia, Moldova, Qatar, Indonesia.

Report about democracy

More than one-third of the world’s population is living under authoritarian rule. As per the report, 6.4% enjoys full democracy. The current global democracy score is 5.28 out of 10.

Types of regimeScoreCountriesCountries percentageWorld population (%)
Full democracies8.01 – 102112.6%6.4%
Flawed democracies6.01 – 8.005331.7%39.3%
Hybrid regimes4.01 – 6.003420.4%17.2%
Authoritarian regimes0 – 4.005935.3%37.1%

India’s Ranking

India ranked at 46th position with an overall score of 6.91 in the Democracy Index 2021 in the flawed democracy category. The individual scores of India in the five categories are as follow:

Electoral process and pluralism8.67
Functioning of government7.50
Political Participation7.22
Civil Liberties6.18
Political Culture5

Report of India’s neighbour

Type of regimeCountries
Flawed democracySri Lanka ranked at 67th position.
Hybrid regimeBangladesh (75th position),
Bhutan (81st position),
Nepal (101st position),
Pakistan (104th position).
Authoritarian regimeChina (148th position),
Myanmar (166th position),
Afghanistan (167th position).

Region-wise ranking

RankRegionCountriesOverall Score
1North America28.36
2Western Europe218.23
3Latin America and the Caribbean245.83
4Asia and Australasia285.46
5Central and Eastern Europe285.36
6Sub-Saharan Africa444.12
7The Middle East and North Africa203.41

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