US demoted to 'flawed democracy', same as S'pore: Economist Intelligence Unit

It is not entirely Donald J. Trump's fault.

Belmont Lay| January 26, 11:14 AM

For the first time ever, the United States has fallen to the same depth as Singapore.

The latest Economist Intelligence Unit rankings of global democracy demoted the US from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy", effectively putting them on the same level as countries like Singapore and India.

The EIU is the research and analysis branch of the venerable Economist, which releases a democracy index every year.

The Democracy Index provides a snapshot of global democracy by scoring countries on five categories: Electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

Depending on scores attained, each country is then classified as one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” and “authoritarian regime”.

The U.S. score fell below the 8-point "full Democracy" threshold, landing instead in "flawed Democracy" territory.

According to EIU:

The US, a standard-bearer of democracy for the world, has become a “flawed democracy”, as popular confidence in the functioning of public institutions has declined. The score for the US fell to 7.98 from 8.05 in 2015, causing the world’s leading economic superpower to slip below the 8.00 threshold for a “full democracy”.

However, it is not entirely Donald Trump's fault.

The report also explained:

The U.S. has been teetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy for several years, and even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, its score would have slipped below 8.00."

Singapore's score is 6.38.


Countries at the top are Norway (9.93), Iceland (9.50) and Sweden (9.39).

Around 2.6 billion people, more than one-third of the world’s population, live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being in China (3.14), the report said.

You can download the report here (PDF with login required).

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