Charts: The best and worst democracies


The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index has rated nations according to how democracy works.

The researchers take into consideration such things as the electoral process, civil liberties, political participation (e.g., voter turnout), the number of women in power, how the country allows its people to participate in lawful protests, if its government functions effectively and its political culture, i.e., whether losing candidates and their supporters accept defeat gracefully.

Many of the countries that come out on top are the homogeneous societies of Scandinavia.

The U.S. comes in 19th, below Malta and Uruguay. (Cough.)


Don’t feel bad. France, you’ll note, isn’t even in the top 25. In 27th place, it’s ranked as a flawed democracy.

But there are far worse. The nations at the bottom of the list according to the Democracy Index …