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Freedom in the World, 2010

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, 2009, through December 31, 2010.

According to the survey, global freedom deteriorated in 2009, marking the fourth consecutive year of decline. Latin America, Africa, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East suffered the most marked drop in stability. The number of electoral democracies in the world declined from 119 to 116, the lowest number since 1995. Honduras, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Niger were removed from the list.

In 2009, 89 countries were judged to be free. Their 3.1 billion inhabitants (46% of the world's population) enjoy a broad range of rights. Fifty-eight countries representing 1.34 billion people (20%) 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 47 countries are not free. The 2.3 billion inhabitants (24%) of these countries, more than one-half of whom live in China, are denied most basic political rights and civil liberties. Six countries were downgraded in status: Lesotho moved from Free to Partly Free, and Bahrain, Gabon, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, and Yemen went from Partly Free to Not Free. There were some positive changes in 2009. Montenegro moved from Partly Free to Free, and Kosovo from Not Free to Partly 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
    Kiribati
    Liechtenstein
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    Marshall Islands
    Micronesia
    Nauru
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Norway
    Palau
    Poland
    Portugal
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    San Marino
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Spain
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Tuvalu
    United Kingdom
    United States
    Uruguay
  • Ranking: 1.5
  • Belize
    Croatia
    Ghana
    Greece
    Grenada
    Israel
    Italy
    Japan
    Latvia
    Monaco
    Panama
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    South Korea
    Taiwan
    Ranking 2.0
    Argentina
    Benin
    Brazil
    Bulgaria
    Dominican Republic
    Mauritius
    Mongolia
    Namibia
    Romania
    Samoa
    Sao Tome and Principe
    Serbia
    South Africa
    Suriname
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Vanuatu
    Ranking 2.5
    Antigua and Barbuda
    Botswana
    El Salvador
    Guyana
    India
    Indonesia
    Jamaica
    Mali
    Mexico
    Montenegro
    Peru
    Ukraine

    PARTLY FREE1

  • Ranking: 3.0
  • Albania
    Bolivia
    Ecuador
    Lesotho
    Macedonia
    Paraguay
    Senegal
    Seychelles
    Sierra Leone
    Turkey
    Ranking 3.5
    Bangladesh
    Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Colombia
    Comoros
    East Timor
    Liberia
    Malawi
    Maldives
    Molodova
    Mozambique
    Papua New Guinea
    Philippines
    Solomon Islands
    Tanzania
    Zambia
    Ranking 4.0
    Burkina Faso
    Georgia
    Guatemala
    Guinea-Bissau
    Honduras
    Kenya
    Kuwait
    Lebanon
    Malaysia
    Nepal
    Nicaragua
    Sri Lanka
    Tonga
  • Ranking: 4.5
  • Bhutan
    Burundi
    Haiti
    Kosovo
    Morocco
    Niger
    Nigeria
    Pakistan
    Singapore
    Thailand
    Togo
    Uganda
    Venezuela
    5.0
    Armenia
    Central African Republic
    Djibouti
    Ethiopia
    Fiji
    The Gambia
    Madagascar

    NOT FREE1

  • Ranking5.5
    Algeria
    Angola
    Azerbaijan
    Bahrain
    Brunei
    Cambodia
    Congo (Brazzaville)
    Cote d’Ivoire
    Egypt
    Gabon
    Iraq
    Jordan
    Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Mauritania
    Oman
    Qatar
    Russia
    Rwanda
    Tajikistan
    United Arab Emirates
    Yemen
Ranking 6.0
Afghanistan
Cameroon
Congo (Kinshasa)
Iran
Swaziland
Tunisia
Vietnam
Zimbabwe
Ranking 6.5
Belarus
Chad
China
Cuba
Guinea
Laos
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Ranking 7.0
Burma
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Libya
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, 2010, published by Freedom House. http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=410&year=2010.