The Economist Intelligence Unit has published the twelfth edition of its Democracy Index which rates democracy levels in 165 independent states and two territories. The research is based on criteria including civil liberties, the electoral process and pluralism, government functionality, political participation and political culture with the countries rated on a 0 to 10 scale. This year's index found that the average global democracy score has fallen from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44 in 2019, the worst average score since the research was first conducted in 2006.
Northern Europe leads the way for democracy with Norway recording the highest score, 9.87. Iceland came second with 9.58 while Sweden was third with 9.39. The United States only managed a score of 7.96 which left it in 25th position. North Korea comes last, scoring 1.08 out of 10 while the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic complete the bottom three.