Democracy slides in 2021: Study

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Democratic standards across the world fell again in 2021 amid the pandemic and growing support for authoritarianism to leave just over 45 per cent of the world’s population living in a democracy, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said on Thursday.

As in 2020, less than half of the world’s population is living in a democracy but the trend has deteriorated further, the London-based analysis group said.

Its annual democracy Index “sheds light on continued challenges to democracy worldwide, under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and increasing support for authoritarian alternatives,” the group said.

Its annual index, which provides a measurement of the state of global democracy, registered its biggest fall since 2010 and set “another dismal record” for the worst global score since the index was first produced in 2006.

In Europe, Spain was downgraded to a “flawed democracy”, reflecting a deterioration in its score for judicial independence.

The EIU said the UK also dropped in the ranking following controversies over party financing and a series of scandals but remains a “full democracy”.

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