An estimated 40.3 million people are in some form of slavery in 167 countries around the world, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index published by the Walk Free Foundation. While some countries have shown signs of improvement compared to the last iteration of the publication by the non-profit, in 2016 the situation in most places has gotten worse as our chart indicates.
In 2016, India was the country with the most people living in slave-like conditions with 18.4 million estimated modern slaves. In 2018, this number went down considerably to roughly eight million. This still nets the Asian nation the top spot in this ranking, with China following with 3.9 million. The People's Republic had fewer victims of forced labor and forced marriage two years ago, same as Pakistan, which increased its number of modern slaves by 52 percent to 3.2 million.
The Walk Free Foundation categorizes modern slaves as victims of workplace abuse, debt bondage, forced marriage and sex trafficking among other factors. Since it's nearly impossible to get concrete numbers, the non-profit modeled its analysis on data from Gallup polls in 48 countries as well as evaluations of individual- and country-level risk factors like armed conflicts, governance issues including labor laws, lack of basic needs, the state of disenfranchised groups like migrants and women as well as general inequality levels in the countries included in its report.