With a turnout rate of 73.7 percent of registered voters in the first round, the 2022 French presidential election has produced the second-highest abstention rate in the Fifth Republic (established in 1958).
But what about voter turnout in other countries? Based on data archived by IDEA, this infographic compares turnout in recent presidential/national elections around the world. Despite low voter turnout compared to previous elections, the French are not actually among the poorer performers compared to other democracies around the world. The last U.S. presidential elections in 2020, for example, saw only 66 percent of voters turn out to vote. The turnout rate even drops to 62% when looking at Canada (federal elections 2021) and 56 percent in Japan (legislative elections 2021).
At the top end of the scale, Belgium has one of the highest voter turnout rates in the world, with almost 90% of registered voters casting their ballot. However, it should be noted that Belgium has a compulsory voting system (as do Brazil, Greece and Australia), which naturally results in a high turnout. But, other democracies that do not have such a system still manage to mobilize their voters en masse, such as Sweden, which recorded a rate of 87 percent in 2018.