According to the last report in 2010 by The Economist Intelligence Unit ( EIU ) Norway scored the highest of any Nation as a full democracy, with a score of 9.80, with Iceland ( 9.65 ) and Denmark ( 9.52 ) taking second and third spot respectively.
The EIU is a research and advisory company brand of The Economist Group, which is an associate of Pearson PLC, who’s most noteworthy subsidiary is The Financial Times.
The categories under which Nations are placed in this report are:
1. Full democracies
2. Flawed democracies
3. Hybrid regimes
4. Authoritarian regimes
In this 2010 report 26 Nations were listed as full democracies ranging in score from 9.80 to 8.02. Among those, with the exception of those already mentioned, Australia came in 6th place at 9.22, Canada came in 9th place at 9.08, Ireland came in at 12th place with 8.79, the United States came in at 17th place with 8.18, the United Kingdom came in at 19th place with 8.16, and Portugal came in at 26th place with a score of 8.02.
In this 2010 report 53 Nations were listed as flawed democracies ranging in score from 7.94 to 6.01. Among which were Italy ( 7.83 ), France ( 7.77 ), Israel ( 7.48 ), India ( 7.28 ), Brazil ( 7.12 ), and Mexico ( 6.93 ).
In this 2010 report 33 Nations were listed as hybrid regimes ranging in score from 5.92 to 4.00. The first being Hong Kong ( 5.92 ), with other notables being Turkey ( 5.73 ), Palestine ( 5.44 ), Kenya ( 4.71 ), Pakistan ( 4.55 ), and Russia at 4.26.
In this 2010 report 55 Nations were listed as authoritarian regimes ranging in score from 3.94 to 1.08. Some notables include Kuwait ( 3.88 ), Cuba ( 3.52 ), The People’s Republic of China ( 3.14 ), Egypt ( 3.07 ), Libya ( 1.94 ), with North Korea hanging onto the bottom at 1.08.
These scores are based upon an index of 60 indicators grouped into five categories:
1. electoral process and pluralism
2. civil liberties
3. functioning of government
4. political participation
5. political culture
This report covers 167 Nations, of which 165 are UN member states, and 166 are sovereign states.
According to the EIU site, “ The results of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2010 show a decline in democracy across the world’s regions since 2008. The economic and financial crisis boosted some authoritarian regimes and accentuated existing negative political trends, most notably in Europe, both east and west.”
You can download the EIU whitepaper here.