The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research division of the Economist Group, a UK-based private company which publishes the weekly newspaper The Economist. The index is self-described as intending to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states.
The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories, measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorises each country into one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.
The Economist has published reports with updated versions of the Democracy Index for 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
As described in the report, the Democracy Index is a weighted average based on the answers of 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted answers. Most answers are experts' assessments. Some answers are provided by public-opinion surveys from the respective countries. In the case of countries for which survey results are missing, survey results for similar countries, and expert assessments are used in order to fill in gaps.