The number of “full democracies” in the world has decreased from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016 — and the one missing is the United States of America.
That’s according to the 2016 Democracy Index, which is managed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The group said the U.S. was downgraded due to “a further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there.”
Donald Trump’s rise to power was not the cause of the downgrade; rather, he benefitted from broad distrust in political institutions among U.S. voters.
“By tapping a deep strain of political disaffection with the functioning of democracy, Mr. Trump became a beneficiary of the low esteem in which U.S. voters hold their government, elected representatives and political parties, but he was not responsible for a problem that has had a long gestation,” the report reads.
The index tracks the governments of 167 countries. The U.S. is currently slotted at spot 21. Other countries considered “flawed” democracies include France, Greece, and Japan. The list is topped by Norway — which maintains a near-perfect score of 9.93 out of 10 for measures of democracy the group tracks — and North Korea gets the dubious crown of the least democratic nation in the world.
Congress is widely detested in the United States, with an approval rating of just 19 percent, according to Gallup. President Trump entered office with the lowest approval rating of any president in at least 70 years: 45 percent. The average president enters office with an approval rating of about 66 percent.