Czech Republic is more free than the USA, says 2019 Freedom in the World report

Czech Republic is more free than the USA, says 2019 Freedom in the World report

“They may take our lives… but they’ll never take our freedom!”

That is, unless you live in roughly 60% of countries throughout the world in the year 2019.



The annual Freedom in the World report analyzes levels of freedom uses methodology derived from the UN General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights to assess the real-life rights and freedoms of individual citizens in 212 countries across the world.

While most world governments promise their citizens some level of freedom, that isn’t always a reality – and over the course of 2018, citizens in less than 50% of countries in the world enjoyed true freedom.

Of the 212 countries surveyed in the report, only 87 were found to be free. 59 countries were deemed “not free”, while 64 were given “partly free” status.

The Czech Republic, of course – like most European countries – was deemed to be among the 87 countries considered free, with an aggregate score of 91.

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The scores are based upon individual ratings across two main categories, Political Rights and Civil liberties, which combined to give an overall Freedom Rating. The Czech Republic received top marks in both categories.

The Czech score of 91 was good enough to tie the country with the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Lithuania, and Malta as the 36th most-free nation in the world.

Scandinavian countries dominated the top of the list, as they usually do in these top-country reports, with Finland, Norway, and Sweden tying for the title of the world’s most-free nation with a perfect score of 100.

Canada scored 99, Australia 98, and Ireland 97. The UK ranked slightly ahead of the Czech Republic with a score of 93.

But interestingly enough, the USA scored 86 points, to tie the nation with Belize at #52 in the overall list of free nations. The country scored 33/40 in political rights, and 53/60 in civil liberties.

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The USA was docked points for concerns related to its electoral process, a lack of openness and transparency in government operations, and equal treatment under laws and policies, among other areas.

While specifics regarding the rating for the Czech Republic were not disclosed, the country did receive one mention in the final report that may have impacted its final score.

“Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš drew on closely allied media outlets to combat unflattering scandals,” the report states in a brief note about attacks on media independence in Europe that also mentions the murder of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak in Slovakia.

Controversy surrounding Babiš  may have docked the Czech Republic a point or two – – but not enough to slide behind the USA.

You can read the full 2019 Freedom in the World report here.

Lucas Němec

Prague-based author with two decades experience living in and writing about the Czech Republic for local and international sites and publications. Nakládaný hermelín enthusiast and frequent Club-Mate drinker.

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