The 5 most democratic countries in the world

Free and fair elections, public debate, free press. All pillars of 'Western civilisation' - but which countries are the most democratic in the world?

According to Democracy Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit - here are the top 5:


Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Nordic states top the charts. Norway is running away with it, with an index score of 9.93 (out of 10.) Hitting 10s for political participation, civil liberties, electoral process and pluralism, and political culture - the only aspect letting the Norwegian's down is functioning of government. For reference, the UK sits in 16th with 8.36, and the USA in 21st with 7.93.


The barely populated Iceland is pipped to the post by it's Nordic cousin, but still comes in at a very respectable 2nd - hitting the heights of 9.5 (admittedly quite some way behind Norway.) Iceland is let down by functioning of government (8.93) and political participation (8.89.) Shocking.


After qualifying for the 2018 World Cup this week, Sweden is on an absolute roll. They clock in at 3rd place, with a score of 9.39 - though they're let down by an 8.39 in political participation, which is surpassed comfortably by the rest of the top 5. If you love democracy, move to Scandinavia.

New Zealand

The only non-Nordic country to make the top 5, New Zealand gets a 10/10 for civil liberties and for political pluralism. Their political culture slightly let them down, though the recently elected Labour government will beg to differ. 


Bringing up the rear, though still more democratic than 162 other countries included, is Denmark - meaning Finland is the only Nordic country not to make the top 5, an impressive feat (Finland makes 9th.) 

Denmark only just pips Canada to the top bracket with a score of 9.20.