There are a number of different measures used to evaluate democratic countries. Some of them rely on experts to analyze countries and others rely on assessment of news reports and representative surveys of regular citizens. These assessments can be helpful in identifying which countries are less democratic and which are more. However, it is important to remember that a country can change frequently and there are other factors that influence its classification.

Democracy is a political system in which people have a direct say in their government. The right to vote is one of the most basic rights and is protected in all democracies. Citizens are expected to follow the democratic principles of open government, citizen participation and free and fair elections.

Approximately eight percent of the world population lives in fully democratic states. Another billion live in liberal democracies. Despite this, there are still a significant number of autocratic nations and the number of democracies is on the decline. Among the least democratic nations are Afghanistan, Chad and North Korea.

Many of the most democratic countries in the world are located in Europe. Denmark, Norway and Sweden lead the list of most democratic countries. They are also among the happiest. In addition, these nations have a comprehensive social security and health care system. They are also known for their high levels of female participation in politics.

Throughout the 19th century, only a few people in the world had democratic political rights. As colonial powers expanded their authority, they began to loosen restrictions on freedom of expression and association. This opened up more opportunity for citizens. But by 1900, only about three out of four individuals in the world lived in a democratic country.

The world has become more democratic over the last 200 years. The number of countries with democratic governments increased dramatically after World War II. Since then, however, there have been a number of challenges to the growth of democracy. During the Cold War, the number of democratic countries declined. Today, there are more than 35 percent of the world population living in an authoritarian regime.

While the list of world democracies has changed in recent years, there are still several democratic countries in Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Those in these areas have democratic governments that operate in the public interest. Additionally, many of these countries have low child mortality rates.

In Europe, Norway has a comprehensive social security and health care system and is considered a democratic country. Finland is a world leader in female participation in politics and is ranked higher than the US for freedom of speech. New Zealand is another example of a democratic country, although it is not as advanced as other Nordic nations.

Although it has a relatively young democracy, India is a democratic nation. It is also a member of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. Other countries that have recently fallen out of the EIU’s ranks include the UK and the US.