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It was higher in 41 ranked countries, and it stayed the same in 78.
In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy; its score, which had been experiencing a persistent downward trend, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016.
These nations are often absolute dictatorships, may have some conventional institutions of democracy but with meager significance, infringements and abuses of civil liberties are commonplace, elections (if they take place) are not fair and free, the media is often state-owned or controlled by groups associated with the ruling regime, the judiciary is not independent, and the presence of omnipresent censorship and suppression of governmental criticism.
According to the issue of the index for 2012, Norway scored a total of 9.93 on a scale from zero to ten, keeping the first-place position it has held since 2010, when it replaced Sweden as the highest-ranked country in the index.
Finally, the Democracy Index, rounded to two decimals, decides the regime type classification of the country.
The report discusses other indices of democracy, as defined e.g.
The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture.