2016 Democracy Index

Posted on February 22, 2017 • Category: Government and Politics


The Democracy Index is an annual study that measures the level of democracy available in 167 countries and territories worldwide. In 2016, the Index found that 72 countries had experienced a decline. The U.S. score of 7.98 on a 10-point scale drops America from a “full democracy” to one of 57 “flawed democracies.”

View the distribution of 167 nations across four types of regimes.

View 2016 Democracy Index by type of regime.

KEY FINDINGS of the 2016 Democracy Index

  1. Public trust in government remains at a historic low.
  2. Low-income voters are more distrustful of government and other institutions than high- income voters.
  3. There is less support for democracy among millennials.
  4. Voter turnout in full democracies is generally above 70%.
    Note: Voter turnout in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was 60.2% of eligible voters (AZ: 56.2%). Voter turnout in the U.K.’s Brexit referendum was 72.2%.



7.98 The overall score for the U.S. on the 2016 Democracy Index drops America from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy.”
2016 Democracy Index  

The Economist Intelligence Unit, January 25, 2017

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Lattie F. Coor

Chairman's Point of View

"When CFA set out to build a Citizens' Agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national movement to resolve some of the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of our Arizona Gallup Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens.

As described by The Arizona We Want report, the people of our state are concerned about policy issues – jobs, education, healthcare, the state's transportation system, water and public resources – and much more. Arizonans also want more citizen engagement in the policy process, more active participation in the civic life of their local communities and more attention paid to nurturing and keeping the state's talented young people."

Learn More about how CFA is activating the Citizens' Agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.

Center for the Future of Arizona
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Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2211
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