Democracy Perception Index 2023
The Democracy Perception Index (DPI) is the world’s largest annual study on democracy, covering more than 50 countries and representative of more than 75% of the world’s population. The DPI is conducted by Latana in collaboration with the Alliance of Democracies, to monitor attitudes towards democracy from around the world.
PRESS RELEASE - May 10, 2023
Global democracy poll: Western support for Ukraine holds, but democracy at home is under pressure
Governments are failing to live up to the democratic expectations of their citizens, according to the world’s largest annual study of people’s perception of democracy, spanning 53 countries. However, there is still strong support for Ukraine in the Western world, which would also support cutting economic ties with China in the event it attacked Taiwan.
The sixth Democracy Perception Index (DPI), conducted by Latana in partnership with the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, asked over 50,000 people how they see democracy in their own country, around the world, and perceptions toward global powers and tech platforms.
Highlights of the 2023 Index include:
Ukraine/Russia – support in West for cutting ties
- Support for cutting economic ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine remains high in Europe and the United States even after several rounds of sanctions. But in the rest of the world most people prefer keeping ties.
- Strong continued support for Ukraine, with a third of the global population saying too little is being done to help Kyiv, and roughly half (48 percent) saying assistance has been the ‘right amount’.
Taiwan – reaction to a military attack
- When asked about cutting economic ties with China if it were to invade Taiwan, the world is also divided between the West and the rest. People in western democracies are generally in favor of cutting ties with China in the event of an invasion. This includes several of China’s largest trading partners: the United States, Japan and Germany. Most other countries, however, have mixed attitudes or clearly prefer keeping ties.
Democratic health – Many Europeans do not see their country as democratic
- A little more than half (57 percent) of respondents are satisfied with the state of democracy in their own country. The dissatisfaction is not restricted to non-democratic countries; it is prevalent across Europe, the USA and other well-established democracies. In Europe, only a third of Hungarians, 40 percent of Poles and half of Greeks (49), French (49) and Dutch (53) believe their country to be democratic.
- Faith in democracy has remained high across the globe over the past five years, with 84% saying that it’s important to have democracy in their country.
Threats to democracy - Economic inequality and corruption top the list
- Economic inequality is still perceived to be the number one threat to democracy worldwide, (69%), followed by corruption (68%) and the influence of global corporations (60%). About half of the people around the world, in both democratic and non-democratic countries, feel that their government is acting only in the interest of a small group of people.
- Americans are growing more and more concerned about threats to their democracy. Since 2021, fear of unfair elections has increased most dramatically in the US (from 49% to 61%)
Tech – trust lacking
- Only 46% of Europeans, and 43% of US respondents believe social media has had a positive impact on their country.
- Concern about the influence of Big Tech companies is particularly high in Asian democracies. 73% of Indians and 71% of Filipinos say it threatens democracy in their countries, the highest in the world.
Iran Protests – democracy demand surges
- Iran sees the largest increase in demand for more democracy since 2022, with an increase in the share of people who say democracy is important (61 to 72%), and the largest increase in the share who say there is not enough democracy (+57% to 73%).
- The share of people who say that gender equality should be one of the top three priorities for their government has increased significantly in Iran since 2022, nearly doubling from 13% to 20%. More Iranians now say this should be a top priority for their government than any other country.
The full DPI will be presented at the Sixth Copenhagen Democracy Summit on 15th and 16th May. Speakers at the summit, convened by former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, include Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Leader of Belarusian Democratic Forces Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, new Czech President Petr Pavel, former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Liz Truss.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Chairman of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, said:
“In every country people are calling for more democracy. Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine shows that we can never take freedom and democracy for granted. We must do more to protect and promote the civic rights, individual liberty, and basic democratic principles. First and foremost, we must strengthen our support for all those around the world fighting for a democratic future. But leaders of certain democratic societies will also have to address the population’s dissatisfaction with the lack of democracy in their countries.”
Dr. Nico Jaspers, Latana CEO, said:
"The world continues to be united about the importance of democracy and the need to support Ukraine. But there's a clear dividing line when it comes to bearing the economic cost of doing so. Most countries in the global south still see hunger and poverty as the world's biggest challenge, and economic inequality as the biggest threat to democracy. The West should not forget that global development and creating economic opportunities for everyone are also key ingredients to promoting democracy around the world."
Notes to Editors
The full report is available here:
The full country-by-country and regional results can be found in this table:
This report presents an overview of a study conducted by Latana and the Alliance of Democracies in the spring of 2023, between February 7th and March 27th. The sample of n=53,970 online-connected respondents was drawn across 53 countries, with an average sample size of around 1,000 respondents per country. Nationally representative results were calculated based on the official distribution of age, gender, and education for each country’s population, sourced from the most recent and available data from Barro Lee & UNStat, and census.gov. The average margin of error across all countries sampled is (+/-) 3.1 percentage points.
Countries polled were:
China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hungary, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Morocco, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Egypt, Nigeria, Israel, South Korea, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand, Chile, Pakistan, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Hong Kong, Austria, Italy, Taiwan, Venezuela, France, Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Ireland, United States, Netherlands, Iran, Australia, Norway, Canada, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine, Russia
The full results tables are available below: