“The U.S. has been teetering on the brink of becoming a “flawed democracy” for several years,” according to the index
“Even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, its (the U.S.) score would have slipped below 8.00,” the EIU said, blaming eroding trust in political parties, elected representatives, and government in general.
The index classifies countries in one of four ways: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, and authoritarian regime.
The U.S. rating fell from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016, below the rating of 8.00 for a full democracy.
“Trust in political institutions is an essential component of well-functioning democracies,” the report said.
It pointed to surveys and polling data that show Americans’ confidence in government is at a historic low.
“This has had a corrosive effect on the quality of democracy,” the EIU explained and not just in the U.S. The index found other democracies around the world are experiencing a similar decline.
Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark rounded out the top five “full democracies” on the index.
The EIU’s authoritarian regimes included North Korea, Syria, Central African Republic, and Chad.