Elected Leaders Are Making the World Less Democratic by Bloomberg LP

For the first time in several decades, the world is becoming less democratic, even as more countries hold elections. Bloomberg compiled and analyzed data from organizations that monitor the health of democracies to graphically portray this distressing global phenomenon that affects billions of people around the world.

The story’s main graphic combines the overarching global environment with individual stories of countries facing crises of democracy. On first view, the graphic shows diverging top-level trends: more countries are having elections while the world, on average, becomes less democratic. Then it guides readers through individual cases of countries where democratic declines have been particularly striking. Following the guided narrative, the graphic is designed for exploration. Country by country, readers can explore each nation’s rises, falls and ranks for more than a century.

Original reporting and additional charts begin to paint a portrait of why this trend is occurring. Stacked bar charts visualize polls showing that young citizens of some democracies view living in a democracy as less important than older generations and that they are more open to authoritarian governments than their parents and grandparents. Wrapping up the story, a final graphic provides a novel way of depicting how world leaders have blown through previous term limits.