Only 20% of the world’s population is living in a free environment, down from 46% in 2005, according to Freedom House’s report, Freedom in the World 2022. It analyzed 210 countries and territories and the extent of their political rights and civil liberties.
Based on those measures, democracy has been declining for the last 16 years, while authoritarian regimes have expanded. Over the last year alone, the measure of freedom in 60 countries declined, while it improved in just 28. “The leaders of China, Russia, and other dictatorships have succeeded in shifting global incentives” the report’s authors note, “while encouraging more authoritarian approaches to governance.” Another report from Freedom House found a correlation between democracies and business success, stating that, “stable, transparent governments built on respect for human rights and the rule of law tend to foster environments that are conducive to the establishment and unfettered operation of private enterprises.”