Hong Kong fell three places from its previous spot on the annual democracy index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU’s 2017 Democracy Index, which was released Wednesday, showed Hong Kong getting a score of 6.31 on a scale of 0 to 10, putting it in the 71st place among 167 jurisdictions.
In the previous survey in 2016, the city scored 6.42 and secured the 68th position on the widely-watched global democracy gauge.
The latest score meant that Hong Kong fell last year to the same level as Namibia in West Africa and Paraguay in South America, the Hong Kong Economic Journal noted.
EIU’s Democracy Index is based on scores in five categories, namely electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture.
The latest survey covered 165 independent states and two territories.
Hong Kong’s overall score put the territory in the category of “flawed democracies”, putting it behind dozens of other places including Singapore, which secured the 69th rank and was also in the same category as Hong Kong.
Norway took the No.1 spot, followed by Iceland and Sweden, which are in the “full democracies” category.
China was ranked 139th with a score of 3.10, similar to Belarus and Vietnam, and in the same “authoritarian regimes” group as North Korea.
In general, 89 of the survey states and territories saw their scores drop last year, the most since 2010, with Asia performing worse than the rest, according to EIU.
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