NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Gains For Democracy Around The World

August 4, 1996

While the definition may be somewhat blurred, a majority of the world's countries are now classified as having elected, democratic governments, according to Freedom House.

  • In the past decade, the percentage of countries considered democratic has grown from 42 percent to 61 percent -- 117 of 191 nations.
  • All 24 Western European nations are democratic, and 31 of 35 are considered so in the Americas.
  • In Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, there are 19 democracies in 27 nations.
  • In Asia and the Pacific about half of the 52 countries are democracies.

Africa remains the area where democracy is least deeply rooted -- with only 18 democracies among 53 countries.

Source: Barbara Crossette, "Globally, Majority Rules," New York Times, August 4, 1996.


Browse more articles on International Issues