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Freedom in the World, 2009

Since 1972, Freedom House has published Freedom in the World, an annual comparative assessment of the state 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 January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008.

According to the survey, global freedom deteriorated in 2008, marking the third consecutive year of decline. Sub-Saharan Africa and the non-Baltic former Soviet Union suffered the most marked drop in stability. In 2008, 89 countries were judged to be free. Their 3.0 billion inhabitants (47% of the world's population) enjoy a broad range of rights. Sixty-two countries representing 1.35 billion people (32%) 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 found that 42 countries are not free. The 2.3 billion inhabitants (342%) of these countries, one-half of whom live in China, are denied most basic political rights and civil liberties. Afghanistan's status changed from Partly Free to Not Free.

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
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Monaco
  • Panama
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Ranking: 2
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • 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
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

PARTLY FREE1

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

NOT FREE1

  • Ranking: 5.5
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Azerbaijan
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Congo, Rep. of
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Egypt
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mauritania
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Tajikistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Ranking: 6
  • Cameroon
  • Dem. Republic of Congo
  • Guinea
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Swaziland
  • Tunisia
  • Vietnam
  • Ranking: 6.5
  • Belarus
  • Chad
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Laos
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Zimbabwe
  • Ranking: 7
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • 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, 2009, published by Freedom House. http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=410&year=2009.

Most and Least Livable Countries: UN Human Development Index, 2006 Freedom in the World, 2007