The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Democracy Index includes only 22 out of 167 countries in the category of fully functioning democracies.
15 were in Europe. Notable countries missing from the list were the US, Belgium and Italy, which were all classified as flawed democracies.
This year the average global score fell from 5.48 to 5.44, the lowest score in the 12 years the index has been compiled.
Only 5.7% of the global population lives in a fully functioning democracy. Scores range from 1.08 (North Korea) to 9.87 (Norway).
Switzerland’s score of 9.03 placed it tenth globally. The only thing keeping Switzerland from rising to near the top was political participation. On this Switzerland scored 7.78 out of 10.00.
With a perfect participation score Switzerland would rise to third place overall with a score of 9.47.
Swiss voter participation dropped 11.8 percentage points between 1971 and 2019, reaching 45.1% – participation is the rate of eligible voters voting.
Participation in Switzerland varies significantly depending on the vote. Since 1971, the vote attracting the highest turnout was the 1992 vote on whether to join the EU (78.7%).