United States Places 15th in Democracy Ranking
Americans like to think of themselves as the freest people on the planet. But an annual ranking of the most– and least– democratic nations in the world draws a markedly different conclusion. In fact, the US does not even crack the top 10 on the Austria-based Democracy Ranking Association’s 2012 index.
Based on the Democracy Ranking Association’s criteria, which include such factors as political freedom, civil liberties, gender equality as well as economic, educational, health and environmental indicators, the United States is the world’s 15th most democratic nation, slipping from 14th place on last year’s index. Nine of the top 10 nations are in Europe, with a Nordic sweep of Norway, Sweden and Finland topping the list. At the other end of the index, Libya, Syria and Yemen were ranked least democratic.
“The United States dropped from ranking position 14 to 15, but improved in scores from 78.3 to 78.5, with gains in politics, environment, health, and knowledge, but losses in economy and gender,” the report said.
The statistics for each indicator were sourced from some of the most prominent organizations and indices in each respective category. For example, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index was used to rank the most and least corrupt nations, while Freedom House was cited for the press freedom rankings.
Here are the overall rankings (chart by Democracy Ranking Association):