Introduction | Freedom House

Introduction

Read a Country or a Territory Report

The Freedom in the World 2005 survey contains reports on 192 countries and 14 related and disputed territories. Each country report begins with a section containing basic political, economic, and social data arranged in the following categories: population, gross national income per capita (GNI/capita), life expectancy, religious groups, ethnic groups, capital, political rights [numerical rating], civil liberties [numerical rating], and status [Free, Partly Free, or Not Free]. Each territory report begins with a section containing the same data, except for GNI/capita and life expectancy figures.

The population and life expectancy figures are from the 2004 World Population Data Sheet of the Population Reference Bureau. GNI/capita figures are from the World Bank's World Development Indicators 2004 and www.internetworldstats.com. Information about religious groups and ethnic groups are derived primarily from the CIA World Factbook 2005. Population figures and information about religious and ethnic groups for territories are from sources including the CIA World Factbook 2005, The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2005, the BBC, World Gazetteer, and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).

The political rights and civil liberties categories contain numerical ratings between 1 and 7 for each country or territory, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. The status designation of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free, which is determined by the combination of the political rights and civil liberties ratings, indicates the general state of freedom in a country or territory. The ratings of countries or territories which have improved or declined since the previous survey are indicated by asterisks next to the ratings. Positive or negative trends which do not warrant a ratings change since the previous year may be indicated by upward or downward trend arrows, which are located next to the name of the country or territory. A brief explanation of ratings changes or trend arrows is provided for each country or territory as required. For a full description of the methods used to determine the survey's ratings, please see the chapter on the survey's methodology.

Following the section on political, economic, and social data, each country and territory report is divided into two parts: an overview and an analysis of political rights and civil liberties. The overview provides a brief historical background and a description of major recent events. The political rights and civil liberties section summarizes each country or territory's degree of respect for the rights and liberties which Freedom House uses to evaluate freedom in the world.