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The U.S. Was Just Downgraded from a ‘Full’ to ‘Flawed Democracy’

January 25, 2017, 9:11 PM UTC

While U.S. citizens could once claim to be part of the 9% of people in the world governed by a “full democracy,” they are now part of the near 45% who live in a “flawed democracy.”

That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, which downgraded the U.S. in their 2016 Democracy Index published Wednesday. The move puts the U.S. in the same category as Poland, Mongolia, and Italy.

To arrive at this conclusion, the paper analyzed over 200 countries and considered factors like political culture and political participation.

“Popular trust in government, elected representatives and political parties has fallen to extremely low levels in the U.S.,” the paper’s authors wrote. “This has been a long-term trend and one that preceded the election of [Donald] Trump as U.S. president in November 2016.”

The report sorted the countries into four categories: “full democracy,” “flawed democracy,” “hybrid regime,” and “authoritarian regime,” with the majority of the world population governed by a “flawed democracy.”