Sri Lanka ranked third in Asia

Sri Lanka is ranked third among Asian countries on the democracy index for 2012 below India and Bangladesh.

The Democracy Index 2012 report compiled by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit has declared Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal as “hybrid regimes” saying that elections in these countries have substantial irregularities that often prevent them from being both free and fair, according to the report.

The top five democratic countries in the world are Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand. North Korea comes last among the 167 countries covered by the index.

India has been ranked 38 in the list of top democracies, Bangladesh is ranked 84, Sri Lanka 89, Bhutan 107, Pakistan 108, Nepal 111 and Afghanistan 152 and China 142.

The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

According to the Times of India, termed a flawed democracy, India scores high in categories such as electoral process and pluralism (9.58) and civil liberties (9.41) but slips when it comes to the functioning of government (7.5) and political participation (6.1). Its score is lowest in political culture (5). India’s overall democracy score stands at 7.52 — as against the highest of 9.93 (Norway).

The report defines a flawed democracy as a country that has free and fair elections and respects basic civil liberties, but suffers significant weaknesses in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.

Top 10 democracies





New Zealand







Ten worst democracies

North Korea (rank 167)

Guinea Bissau (rank 166)



Saudi Arabia



Equatorial Guinea




World has only 25 full democracies 

The UK ranks 16

The US ranks 21


Overall democracy score out of 10 among Asian countries 

India 7.52

Bangladesh 5.86

Sri Lanka 5.75

Bhutan 4.65

Pakistan 4.57

Nepal 4.16

China 3

Afghanistan 2.48