Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Freedom Stagnation

Freedom in the World 2007, the new edition of the annual report by Freedom House, was released today. The press release accompanying the report notes that the survey "found that the percentage of countries designated as Free has remained flat for nearly a decade and suggests that a 'freedom stagnation' may be developing."

Among its more specific findings, the survey indicates that

the number of countries judged by Freedom in the World as Free in 2006 stood at 90, representing 47 percent of the global population. Fifty-eight countries qualified as Partly Free, with 30 percent of the world’s population. The survey finds that 45 countries are Not Free, representing 23 percent of the world’s inhabitants. About one-half of those living in Not Free conditions inhabit one country: China.

Freedom in the World 2007 also states that in 2006 there were 123 electoral democracies in the world, the same number as the year before.