The History Of World Democracies

A democracy is a political system with institutions that allow citizens to express their political preferences, has constraints on the power of the executive, and provides a guarantee of civil liberties.

Posted  updated 1 year ago

World maps of political regimes over 200 years

The world has changed. Two centuries ago, most countries were autocracies or colonies; today, most are democracies. In the map and chart below, each country receives a Polity IV score, which goes from −10 (full autocracy) to 10 (full democracy). For convenience, in this entry, we’ll refer to this as the “Democracy Score”. By default, 2015 data are shown, but you can move the slider (bottom) to see data in each of the past 200 years.



Most countries in Europe and the Americas are now democracies. Some parts of Africa - especially in the West and the South - have democratized. So too have countries in Asia, with India being the world’s largest democracy. Many countries are full democracies (score of 10), including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Mongolia.

Credits: Main photo by Artem Podrez


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