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by Freedom House, and argues for some of the choices made by the team from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Hybrid regimes are nations where consequential irregularities exist in elections regularly preventing them from being fair and free.

Tunisia, Mauritania, Egypt, and Niger were all upgraded to hybrid regimes, and Zambia moved up to the flawed democracy category.

In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy; its score, which had been experiencing a persistent downward trend, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016.

In a few cases, an answer yielding zero for one question voids another question; e.g., if the elections for the national legislature and head of government are not considered free (question 1), then the next question, "Are elections... " is not considered, but automatically marked zero.

Likewise, there are a few questions considered so important that a low score on them yields a penalty on the total score sum for their respective categories, namely: The five category indices, which are listed in the report, are then averaged to find the Democracy Index for a given country.