Not even half the world’s population has lived in a democracy

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Less than half of the world’s population lived in democracy in 2021, and only 21 of the 165 countries had “full democracy” status, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index.

Thus, 45.7% of the planet’s inhabitants lived in a form of democracy in 2021, compared to 49.4% in 2020, according to the study.

However, only 6.4% lived in a “full democracy”, slightly down from the previous year (6.8%).

“The result reflects the negative impact of the pandemic (Covid-19) on democracy and freedom in the world for the second year in a row, a considerable erosion of state power and the erosion of individual freedoms,” the study said, according to News.ro.

Norway continues to lead in the top of the democracies, with the study giving this Scandinavian state the highest scores in three out of five categories.

In Europe, Spain will move from “full democracy” to “failed democracy” status in 2021 and join France, which has this status since 2020.

The United States, Israel, and South Africa are also “failed democracies.”

Sweden, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom – which are losing two seats and approaching the status of “failed democracy” – are in the top of the rankings, “full democracies”, as are Japan, South Korea, Mauritius and Costa Rica.

Britain has dropped in the rankings following several scandals that have undermined confidence in the government, the study’s authors note. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been facing internal criticism for weeks over the pandemic’s party scandal.

In the category of “hybrid regimes” are Bangladesh, Senegal, Ukraine, Hong Kong or Tunisia – which has seen one of the strongest declines.

Among the “authoritarian regimes”, the EIU ranks Algeria, Egypt, Russia, Rwanda, Vietnam and China.

At the bottom of the rankings is Afghanistan, where the Taliban returned to power half a year ago as the least democratic country in the world.