December 17, 2019

Freedom Around the World

If you have never done so, you should take a look at the Freedom House Web site. It rates countries (and some territories) on how free they are. Rankings run from 0 (not at all free) to 100 (completely free). One can quibble about Freedom House’s methodology, including the meaning of the ends of its scale, but rankings seem intuitively realistic.

The Freedom House site contains a page that lets the visitor explore freedom ratings via an interactive map. More information is available in a country-by-country list. Current information is for 2019, and, presumably, it will be updated to keep the information timely.

Some observations: Only Syria achieves a rating of 0, an evaluation I can understand having just watched the documentation For Sama. Other notable low ratings include South Sudan (2), North Korea (3), and Saudi Arabia (7). China rates only slightly higher (11). Canada achieves a 99, but the United States only gets an 86. (That sounds about right, though the U.S. perhaps deserves an even lower rating as we complete the third year of the Trump administration.) The only countries to achieve perfect 100 scores are Norway, Sweden, and Finland. (Denmark only rates a 97.) The United Kingdom rates a 93. (Will this decrease under Prime Minister Bris Johnson.) The Republic of Ireland, on the other hand, shows up at 97.

Sadly, Freedom House’s 2019 report is titled “Democracy in Retreat.”

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