Satisfaction with democracy, according to the report, has eroded in most parts of the world, with an especially notable drop over the past decade. Public confidence in democracy is at the lowest point on record in the United States, the major democracies of Western Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. In some countries, including the United States, this metric is now reaching an important threshold: The number of people who are dissatisfied with democracy is greater than the number of people who are satisfied with it.
Three findings are particularly noteworthy. First, over the past quarter century, satisfaction with democracy has fallen across the democratic world as a whole. In the mid-1990s, citizens in a majority of countries for which there are data felt satisfied with the performance of their democracies. Except for a brief dip in the ’90s following the Asian and Latin American financial crises, this remained true until 2015, when a majority of citizens turned negative in their evaluation of democratic performance. Since then, dissatisfaction has continued to grow.
Overall, the report estimates that the number of individuals who are “dissatisfied” with the condition of democracy in their country has risen by 10 percentage points, from 48 percent to 58 percent.