The Democracy Index 2011 listed Norway as the most democratic nation in the world while North Korea is the least democratic.
Using a scale of 0 to 10, countries were placed in one of four categories: full democracies (8-10), flawed democracies (6 to 7.9), hybrid regimes (4 to 5.9) and authoritarian regimes (0 to 3.9).
The report says Zambia improved from a hybrid to a flawed democracy.
Some of the countries put in the same category with Zambia as flawed democracies are : South Africa, France, Italy, India, Indonesia and Philippines.
Tunisia, Mauritania and Niger moved up from authoritarian to hybrid.
Full democracies worldwide include: Luxembourg, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Malta, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Mauritius and Spain.
Hybrid regimes include: Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangladesh, Turkey, Palestine, Cambodia, Pakistan and Iraq.
Authoritarian nations include: Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, China, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan and Laos.
The Economist Intelligence Unit analysis, released this month, concluded that democracy deteriorated in 48 countries, improved in 41 and stayed the same in 78. In most regions, the report said, the level of democracy was lower in 2011 than the previous year.
“2011 was an exceptionally turbulent year, characterized by sovereign debt crises and weak political leadership in the developed world, dramatic political change and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa and rising social unrest,” said Laza Kekic, the report’s lead author.
The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, how government functions, political participation by the public and political culture. The analysts measured the level of democracy in 165 nations and two territories, “which account for almost the entire population of the world,” the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a release.