The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its latest Democracy Index, laying out the state of democracy in the world.
The EIU is part of the Economist Group, the organization which owns and publishes the well-regarded newspaper, The Economist.
The latest index indicates that of the 167 countries covered by the study, 22 were considered full democracies, 54 flawed democracies, 37 were hybrid regimes, and authoritarian regimes accounted for 54 states.
The index uses a methodology whereby each country’s democracy ‘score’ is ranked out of ten. Five pillars make up the score: civil liberties, political culture, political participation, functioning of government, and electoral process and pluralism. Countries with scores between eight and ten are full democracies, six to eight flawed democracies, four to six hybrid regimes, and zero to four authoritarian regimes.
According to the index, democracy suffered a setback in 2019, compared to the previous year, driven mainly by regressions in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The global democracy score declined from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44 in 2019, the worst result since the index began in 2006.
Norway topped the index for 2019, while North Korea was ranked as the least democratic country on the planet by the index.
Mauritius was the only African country ranked as a full democracy, being ranked 18th.
South Africa was ranked 40th, making it a flawed democracy. Apart from Mauritius, the only African countries to be ranked above South Africa were Botswana (29th) and Cape Verde (30th).