Greece Ranks Among Top 20 Best Democracies in the World, Economist Reports

Syntagma Athens winter

In the category of "full democracy," Greece has been upgraded by the "Economist" magazine in its annual report, "Democracy Index," for 2023. This marks the first time since 2008 that Greece has achieved this ranking, placing the country one category above the United States and member states of the European Union, such as Italy, Belgium, and Portugal, which are considered "flawed democracies."

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Greece was given a rating of 8.14 out of 10, ranking 20th out of a total of 167 countries and regions examined by the Economist's Intelligence Unit. The report stated, "The birthplace of democracy has reason to celebrate."

Our country is among the few democracies that improved their grade compared to 2022, with an increase of 0.17 points. Greece even scored a perfect 10 in the election and pluralism sub-category, a feat shared by only a dozen other countries, and an 8.82 in the civil liberties sub-category.

In practical terms, this means that Greece belongs to a particularly small group of countries with the best democratic performance, as less than 8% of the inhabitants of the evaluated countries live in a "full democracy." In contrast, almost 40% reside in countries with authoritarian regimes.

Greece's performance in 2023 is the best since the "Democracy Index" began to be published 18 years ago. The worst ratings for our country, ranging from 7.23 to 7.29, were recorded during the SYRIZA-ANEL government between 2016 and 2018.

The significance of Greece's upgrade is amplified as it comes at a time when democracy is under pressure worldwide. The "Economist" highlights that, on all continents except Europe, the readings are worse compared to 2022.

The average global score for 2023 was 5.23, the lowest average level in the index's history.

Western Europe, which includes Greece, remains the most democratic region in the world, with 71% of its countries considered "full democracies." Turkey, which ranks among the "hybrid regimes," is at the lower end of our region.

The Economist also mentions the introduction of postal voting, particularly emphasizing that Greeks in the diaspora are now able to easily vote at their place of residence, whereas previously they would have had to travel to Greece on election day to exercise their voting rights.

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