According to data compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and further illustrated by Gregology, the United States is becoming less democratic. As our chart shows, the Democracy Index continued to decline into 2021, with data on political culture and the functioning of government in the U.S. reflecting a similar downward trajectory up until 2020, when data for these indicators was last collected. Charted over the course of the past 30 years, this chart tracks both Democratic and Republican leadership.
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The index for electoral process and pluralism rose following the Bush years and has been on a steady trend ever since. While civil liberties declined under Obama mid-2014, they have risen once more. Political participation saw a rise over Trump’s presidency.
The Democracy Index resembles the Human Development Index, apart from the fact it chiefly considers political institutions and freedoms. The index measures the state of democracy in 167 countries and territories and is based on 60 indicators, grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. The ‘Democratic Index’ is the average of the five indicators. The lower the score, the less democratic the country.
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