The world's seven least democratic states – what about North Korea?

Kim Jong-un with audience

Here are the seven least democratic – and most authoritarian – countries on the planet.

Based off the Economist's democracy index list (in which countries are ranked in five democratic dimensions), here are the seven least democratic states on the planet.

7. Tajikistan

You probably don’t know much about this last-locked Asian country, but here is one fact that will help you understand Tajik democracy. President Emomali Rahmon has ruled his country since 1992. According to the Independent, last year the country voted to end presidential term limits, but just for Rahmon.

Tajikistan gets and overall score of 1.89.

6. Turkmenistan

Bordering Iran to the south, Uzbekistan to the north and the Caspian Sea to the west, this country has an overall democracy index score of 1.83. In a clear sign that this country is far from being a real democracy, opposition parties are not allowed. At the 2012 presidential election, incumbent Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow won 97.14% of the vote, defeating his party colleague Yazmyradow, who won just 1.07%.

On top of that, the main party is called the Democratic Party of Turkmenstian…

5. Equatorial Guinea

This small African nation gets an overall score of 1.70. The country’s president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has ruled the country since 1979. In that time, Britain has had six different heads of government.

The country gets a score of 0 for elections and pluralism, achieving an overall score of 1.70.

4. Central African Republic

This African country gets a democracy index score of just 1.61. The country has had a tough few years due to conflict in the region. Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected president in 2016 with 63% of the vote.

3. Chad

Chad’s placing on this list makes it the most authoritarian country in Africa. The country gets an overall score of 1.5, with 0 for both elections and government functionality.

2. Syria

War-torn Syria comes in as the second least democratic country in the world. President Bashar al-Assad has ruled his country since 2000, winning another term in 2014 with a reported 88.% of the vote. On top of that, his alliance won 200 out of 250 seats in last year’s election. However, when it comes to the electoral process and pluralism, Syria gets a score of zero. Its overall score is 1.43.

1. North Korea

In what can only be assumed to be an awful joke, Kim Jong-un’s country’s full name is the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. But when it comes to democracy, this oppressive regime performs incredibly poorly, getting an overall score of 1.08, significantly lower than Syria’s 1.43. In the areas of electoral process and civil liberties, unsurprisingly North Korea gets a grand score of 0 for each.

North Korea is therefore the most authoritarian regime on earth.

Kim Jong-un Greets mIlitary

A full list of index scores can be accessed here.