Malta has once again been ranked as the 18th best functioning democracy in the world, in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest annual report.
Although Malta maintained its ranking from last year, it managed to improve its democracy score to 8.21, one of only three Western European countries to do so, along with Finland and Germany. The tiny island is one of only 20 countries classified as a ‘full democracy’, an honour given to countries who score greater than 8.
The top of The Economist’s rankings
Norway was ranked as the best democracy in the world, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark, while DR Congo, Syria and North Korea brought up the rear. Malta is ranked right behind Austria and Mauritius and right ahead of Spain and Costa Rica.
The UK has been ranked 14th, the United States 25th, France 29th, Italy 33rd, China 130th and Russia 144th. Poland and Hungary, which are frequently mentioned alongside Malta in EU rule of law concerns, are ranked 54th and 57th respectively.
The bottom of the Economist’s rankings
The Economist Intelligence Unit, a branch of The Economist media group, has been producing its democracy rankings since 2006, scoring countries between 1 and 10 based on their scores in electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.