Authoritarian leaders

I've been wondering what percentage of the world is currently run by autocratic governments, i.e. countries where the population doesn't have much to say in how the country is run.

I found a website called worldpopulationreview.com, which lists countries and populations, including a list of current dictators. Using their data for 2022, I came up with the following list:

According to this list, just over 39% of the world population is governed by a system where one person has the power.

If, on the other hand, the question is formulated more broadly as countries which are run by an autocratic system, it includes both China and India, the two most populous countries in the world. India likes to describe itself as the largest democracy in the world, but if you look at how it's governed, then the ruling party does pretty much what it likes. That list looks like this:

A list that includes the population and the percentage of the total world population represented by the listed autocratically led countries as of September 2021:

1. China - Approximately 1.4 billion - 18.08%
2. India - Approximately 1.3 billion - 16.67%
3. Russia - Approximately 144 million - 1.85%
4. North Korea - Approximately 25 million - 0.32%
5. Saudi Arabia - Approximately 34 million - 0.44%
6. Iran - Approximately 83 million - 1.06%
7. Vietnam - Approximately 96 million - 1.23%
8. Syria - Approximately 17 million - 0.22%
9. Belarus - Approximately 9.5 million - 0.12%
10. Uzbekistan - Approximately 34 million - 0.44%
11. Turkmenistan - Approximately 6 million - 0.08%
12. Kazakhstan - Approximately 19 million - 0.24%
13. Tajikistan - Approximately 9.5 million - 0.12%
14. Azerbaijan - Approximately 10 million - 0.13%
15. Eritrea - Approximately 3.5 million - 0.04%
16. Sudan - Approximately 44 million - 0.56%
17. Yemen - Approximately 30 million - 0.38%
18. Libya - Approximately 7 million - 0.09%
19. Mauritania - Approximately 4.5 million - 0.06%
20. Chad - Approximately 16 million - 0.21%
21. Egypt - Approximately 104 million - 1.33%
22. Uganda - Approximately 45 million - 0.58%
23. Tanzania - Approximately 59 million - 0.76%
24. Venezuela - Approximately 28 million - 0.36%
25. Nicaragua - Approximately 6.8 million - 0.09%
26. Bolivia - Approximately 11.5 million - 0.15%

Total population: Approximately 4.632 billion (rounded)
Percentage of total world population: Approximately 59.42%

The listed autocratically led countries represented approximately 59.42% of the world's population as of September 2021. So, close to 60%.

Of course, many will disagree with the list and the definition. Nevertheless, it is a view worth pondering. The first list of outright dictatorships alone reaches 39% of the population. Adding several countries which have a more diffuse leadership, but an autocratic style, increases the percentage to almost 60%. That is scary!

I find these statistics worrying. It seems to support my view that the world is splintering rather than pulling together to face the largest issues for humanity : climate change! There is much more cohesion in the autocratic countries, than in the western democracies, although each one fiercely defends the interests of the rulers, which are largely short-term gains at the expense of the longer term common weal.

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