There is no objective definition that exists to determine which countries in the world are democratic. However, relative degrees of democracy can be established between countries. Some regions that are considered to be the most democratic include Sweden, Iceland and the Netherlands. Countries that are considered to be the least democratic include North Korea, the Central African Republic and Saudi Arabia, notes The Economist.
The Economist ranks countries according to five indicators of what it calls "democratic culture." These indicators include pluralism in the electoral process, the presence or absence of civil liberties, the way government functions, political participation among the masses, and the countries' political cultures.
Using these metrics, The Economist found that Sweden was the most democratic country in the world, with a score of 9.88 out of a possible 10, followed by Iceland, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark. Finishing the top 10-ranked democratic countries are Finland, Luxembourg, Australia, Canada and Switzerland.
Though no single trait links all of these countries, their similarities are clear when compared to the five least democratic countries on the index: North Korea, Central African Republic, Chad, Togo and Myanmar. Japan is the only Asian country in the index to rank as a "full democracy," though such societies are common in Europe and North America.