India dropped 10 places in the latest Democracy Index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and retained its status as a “flawed democracy”. The country was ranked 51 on the index for 2019 – its lowest since the rankings began in 2006, reported Bloomberg.

India’s overall score fell from 7.23 out of 10 in 2018 to 6.90 last year, mainly due to an “erosion of civil liberties”, the index report said. The country was ranked 42 in 2017 and 41 in 2018.

According to Economist Intelligence Unit, the annual Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture. The index ranks countries based on their scores on 60 indicators, and then classifies them as one of four types of regime: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

Last year’s index studied political systems across 165 countries and two territories. The Economist Intelligence Unit said the year 2019 was the worst for democracies since 2006, with the average global score falling to 5.44 out of 10 from 5.48 in the preceding year.

Only 22 countries, with a combined population of 430 million, were classified as “full democracies” in 2019, while more than a third of the world’s population were found to be living under authoritarian rule. The list was topped by Norway, while North Korea was at the bottom.

The global decline was driven mainly by regions such as Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia and North Africa. Most Asian countries declined in the rankings in a “tumultuous” year that saw various protests and government restrictions on freedom.