Australia has stayed consistently in the top 10 rankings of Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Democracy Index for 11 years now.
The newest results, released yesterday, show New Zealand (4th place) is still ahead of Australia (8th place), but Asia-Pacific as a whole is the worst performing region.
“Asian democracies had a tumultuous year. A region that had made rapid progress up the rankings in recent years experienced the biggest decline of all regions between 2016 and our latest assessment for 2017. Scoring 5.63, Asia lagged North America (8.56), western Europe (8.38) and Latin America (6.26). It also remained the region with the biggest deviation in scores among its countries. Top-scoring New Zealand (9.26) ranked 4th in the global index (out of 167 countries), while persistent laggard North Korea (1.08) ranked 167th. Australia and New Zealand remained the only two “full democracies” in the region as a whole. Asia’s two largest emerging democracies, India and Indonesia, suffered significant declines in their scores and fell down the rankings in our latest assessment.”
Australia’s score was boosted by its legalising of same-sex marriage last year.