Ireland ranks just before Finland and Australia. 

A new study by The Economist has ranked Ireland as the sixth best democracy in the world. 

The study, known as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, aims to "provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories."

Almost the entire population of the world is covered and the vast majority of the world’s states (microstates are excluded).

The Democracy Index is based on five categories:-

  • Electoral process and pluralism
  • Civil liberties
  • The functioning of government
  • Political participation
  • Political culture

Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” and “authoritarian regime”.

Ireland is preceded by New Zealand, Denmark, Canada (who is joint sixth with Ireland) and Finland. Norway claims the top spot with an average of 9.87 overall in comparison to Ireland's 9.15.

Other European nations like Germany, the UK and Spain are further down the list - due to gaining far lower for things like civil liberties and the electoral process.

Overall, 42 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2017 whereas 48 saw an increase. Ireland's ranking remained unchanged.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper. 

Photo credit: Ellie's ancestors

READ MORE: Some Medical Staff Not Willing To Perform Terminations, IOG Chair Says

READ MORE: House of Fraser Will Not Be Reissuing Irish Gift Cards, Only British Ones