Database Ranks Countries on Democratic Scale



Polity IV Individual Country Regime Trends, 1946-2013


The Center for Systemic Peace, a US-based research institute focused on political conflict and global systems analysis, has developed a method of coding the characteristics of governments.

The 'Polity IV' database examines the qualities of democratic and autocratic authority in each of the world's 167 countries with populations of over 500,000, which are given a score that ranges from fully institutionalised autocracies through mixed authority regimes (termed "anocracies") to fully institutionalised democracies.

The 'Polity Score' captures this regime authority spectrum on a 21-point scale ranging from -10 (hereditary monarchy) to +10 (consolidated democracy). The Polity scores can also be converted into regime categories of "autocracies" (-10 to -6), "anocracies" (-5 to +5), and "democracies" (+6 to +10).

The website provides both a map and table to search individual country scores from 1946 to 2013.


Thumbnail image: Democracy Chronicles/Flickr.

Monty G. Marshall

Center for Systemic Peace

Ted Robert Gurr

University of Maryland