China is the world’s most populous country overall, but which democracies are the world’s largest?

7. The Philippines

With a democracy index score of 6.94 (the Economist 2016), the Philippines is categorised as a flawed democracy. The country has a population of around 105 million, making it one of the world’s most populous nations. The somewhat controversial Rodrigo Duterte has led the country since 2016 following his election victory that year.

The president is known for making some very controversial statements.

6. Mexico

America’s southern neighbour has often been in the news this past year purely in relation to Donald Trump and the building of “the wall”. Like the Philippines, Mexico is ranked as a flawed democracy.

The country has a population of over 123 million. The country has a federal and presidential system of government, and is current led by Enrique Peña Nieto of the centrist PRI. The country goes to the polls again next July.

5. Japan

With over 126 million people, Japan is the world’s tenth most populous country, as well as its fifth biggest democracy. With an index score of 7.99, Japan is the world’s highest ranked flawed democracy. The country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently called a snap general election, which is taking place today. Polls indicate that Abe’s right-of-centre Liberal Democratic Party will emerge the largest in the country’s House of Representatives.

4. Brazil

This democracy has a population of over 208 million, and is also ranked as a flawed democracy by the democracy index (6.90). The country is a federal representative republic. Michel Temer is the country’s current president, having replaced Dilma Rousseff in 2016 following the latter’s impeachment.

3. Indonesia

With a massive population of over 261 million, Indonesia is the most populous country in the southern hemisphere and the fourth most populous in the world. The country’s current president is Joko Widodo of the left-of-centre PDI-P. Widodo has been in power since 2014 and is up for re-election in 2019.

2. United States

Before the 2016 rankings, the US was rated as a full democracy, but the 2016 figures place it as a flawed democracy. With a population of over 325 million, the country is the third largest in the world, as well as the second biggest democracy in terms of population.

Last year, the country elected its 45th president, Donald Trump, who surprised the world first by winning the Republican nomination and then by winning the presidency.

1. India

With a population of over 1.3 billion people – and growing – India is the world’s largest democracy, and the second largest country on the planet after China. With a score of 7.81 on the democracy index, India is also classed as a flawed democracy. At the 2014 general election – the largest in the world, Narendra Modi’s BJP won the most seats and went on to form a government. The country is due to go back to the polls in 2019.

A full list of world populations can be accessed here, and a full list democracy index score can be viewed here.

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