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Freedom in the World, 2008

Since 1978, Freedom House has published Freedom in the World, ======= an annual comparative assessment of political rights and civil liberties around the world. Widely used by policy makers, journalists, and scholars, the 600-page survey is considered the definitive report on freedom around the globe. The ratings reflect global events from Dec. 1, 2005, through Dec. 31, 2006.

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According to the survey, 90 countries are free. Their 3.0 billion inhabitants (47% of the world's population) enjoy a broad range of rights. Sixty countries representing just over 1.2 billion people (31%) are considered partly free. Political rights and civil liberties are more limited in these countries, in which corruption, dominant ruling parties, or, in some cases, ethnic or religious strife is often the norm. The survey finds that 43 countries are not free. The 2.4 billion inhabitants (22%) of these countries, nearly one-half of whom live in China, are denied most basic political rights and civil liberties. in addition, 2007 marked the second consecutive year that the survey registered a decline in freedom, representing the first two-year setback in the past 15 years. In all, nearly four times as many countries showed significant declines during the year as registered improvements. Thailand and Togo both moved from Not Free to Partly Free. One territory, the Palestinian Authority, declined from Partly Free to Not Free. No country improved from Partly Free or Not Free to a designation of Free, or declined from Free to a designation of Partly Free or Not Free.

The list below features only independent countries. Freedom House's separate listing of territories reveals that four territories received the lowest possible political rights rating: Chechnya (Russia), Kashmir (Pakistan), Tibet (China), and Western Sahara (Morocco); of those, Chechnya and Tibet also received the lowest possible civil liberties ratings.

FREE1

  • Ranking: 1
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kiribati
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tuvalu
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Ranking: 1.5
  • Belize
  • Bulgaria
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Monaco
  • Panama
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Ranking: 2
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Mauritius
  • Mongolia
  • Namibia
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vanuatu
  • Ranking: 2.5
  • El Salvador
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Lesotho
  • Mali
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

PARTLY FREE1

  • Ranking: 3
  • Albania
  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Honduras
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Turkey
  • Ranking: 3.5
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • East Timor
  • Guatemala
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Moldova
  • Niger
  • Philippines
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Ranking: 4
  • Burkina Faso
  • Comoros
  • Georgia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kuwait
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Nigeria
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tonga
  • Venezuela
  • Ranking: 4.5
  • Armenia
  • Bangladesh
  • Burundi
  • Gambia
  • Haiti
  • Jordan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Singapore
  • Uganda
  • Ranking: 5
  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Central African Republic
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Yemen

NOT FREE1

  • Ranking: 5.5
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Congo, Dem. Rep. of
  • Congo, Rep. of
  • Egypt
  • Guinea
  • Kazakhstan
  • Maldives
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Tajikistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Ranking: 6
  • Cameroon
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Swaziland
  • Tunisia
  • Vietnam
  • Ranking: 6.5
  • Belarus
  • Chad
  • China
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Laos
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Zimbabwe
  • Ranking: 7
  • Cuba
  • Libya
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
1. Countries are ranked according to political rights and civil liberties on a scale from 1.0 (most free) to 7.0 (least free).
Source: Freedom in the World, 2008, published by Freedom House. http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=410&year=2008.

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