Democracy Perception Index 2019: Global State of Democracy

This is Part 2 of 5 in our Democracy Perception Index Insights Series, run for the second year and presented at the Democracy Summit organized by the Rasmussen Foundation. In this post, we will provide an overview for the state of global democracy across the 54 countries surveyed, with over 177,000 participants who participated, representing over 80% of the world’s population.

According to the Freedom House, Democracy has been in decline for the past 13 years around the world. That’s why Dalia partnered with Rasmussen Global to launch the Democracy perception Index (DPI): a global survey in 54 countries with over 177,000 participants to measure how the world’s citizens perceive democracy both in practice and in theory. 

The results were presented at the second annual Democracy Summit held in Copenhagen, where leaders in the public and private sector from nations around the world met to discuss the challenges and solutions for the future of democracy. 



Exploring Data from the Democracy Perception Index 2019


In addition to submitting the results to the conference, Dalia Research is committed to increasing public access to data that can enrich public dialogue and support decision making. For this reason, we have created dynamic tables using Tableau for you to explore the data. 


Key Findings on the State of Democracy


Democracy is important for the vast majority of people around the world: across the 54 countries surveyed, representing 75% of the world’s population, 79% of people said democracy was important for them to have in their country, ranging from 92% in Greece to 55% in Iran. 

However, only half of the global population surveyed thinks their country is currently democratic, ranging from 78% in Switzerland to 20% in Venezuela. Even across the countries that are officially considered democratic by the Freedom House, only 55% of the population (on average) perceives their country as democratic today. 



To better capture the public dissatisfaction with the state of democracy, the study measured the gap between how important people think democracy is and how democratic they think their country currently is. This gap is called the Perceived Democratic Deficit: the larger the gap, the more dissatisfied people are with the current level of democracy in their country.  

The countries with the smallest Perceived Democratic Deficit – where people feel like their governments are providing the level of democracy that they think is important to have – are Switzerland, Norway and Denmark. 

The countries with the largest gap in democratic expectations are Venezuela, Algeria, Venezuela and Poland. 

Overall, there is no country without a gap, meaning there is no country where people think that the level of democracy they have is as high or higher than what they think is important. 





This report presents an overview of a study conducted by Rasmussen Global and Dalia Research in the Spring of 2019. The sample of n=177,870 online-connected respondents was drawn across 54 countries, with country sample sizes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000. Nationally representative results were calculated based on the official distribution of age, gender and education for each country’s population, sourced from most recent and available data from Barro Lee & UNStat, and The average margin of error across all countries sampled is (+/-) 2.77%.

For an overview of the project, please see the Executive Summary.

If you would like to do a multi-country survey, please get in touch with