Chile ranked one of Latin America’s best democracies in 2010

The Vienna-based organization responsible for the report placed Chile in the top third of the world’s democracies, based on measures of politics, economy, gender equality, health and education and environmental sustainability.

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The Viennese organization Democracy Ranking Association released its 2010 Global Democracy Ranking, with Chile scoring near the top of Latin American countries. Only surpassed by Uruguay, Chile came in at number 28 on the list of 100 nations, placing it in the top third of democracies worldwide.

Improving by two places in the overall rankings, Chile is also one of the 25 most-improved democracies in the world.

Only three Latin American nations (Uruguay, 21, Chile and Costa Rica, at 29) were ranked in the top third of the world’s democracies. Of those top 33 democracies, only eight were outside Europe or North America, including Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, which, in sixth place, was the highest ranked nation outside of Europe.

The Association’s rankings are based on several factors, with the heaviest weight placed on the political function of the democracy.

Gender equality, health and the economy—the three factors used by the United Nations to elaborate its Human Development Index—are weighted equally at ten percent of the score.

The Association also includes measures like education, research and innovation (grouped together as “knowledge”) and environmental sustainability at ten percent in order to create a more comprehensive and multi-dimensional measure.

A related study conducted this year by Transparency International ranked 178 nations according to perceived government transparency as a means of creating a quantitative measure of corruption in governments around the world. Chile’s government was the most transparent in Latin America, the third most transparent nation in the Americas, and 21st in the world ranked above Uruguay, France and the United States.

According to the report, quality of democracy also tends to correspond to levels of development, with member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expected to rank highest on the list. Chile’s recent admission to the OECD and its standing in the Democracy Ranking suggest that Chile remains on track for reaching development in the next decade.

This post is also available in Spanish