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.
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