Freedom

2021 World Press Freedom Index

Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states. Because it is well known, its influence over governments is growing. Many heads of state and government fear its annual publication. 2002
Year of the first edition of the ranking
The Index is a point of reference that is quoted by media throughout the world and is used by diplomats and international entities such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

What does it measure?

The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.

The global indicator and regional indicators

Along with the Index, RSF calculates a global indicator and regional indicators that evaluate the overall performance of countries and regions (in the world and in each region) as regards media freedom. It is an absolute measure that complements the Index’s comparative rankings. The global indicator is the average of the regional indicators, each of which is obtained by averaging the scores of all the countries in the region, weighted according to their population as given by the World Bank.

How the index is compiled

The degree of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries and regions is determined by pooling the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by RSF. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated. The criteria used in the questionnaire are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

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  Ranking Countries & regions Abuse score Underlying situation score Global score Diff. score 2020 Diff. Position 2020
  1 Norway 0 6.72 6.72 -1.12 0
  2 Finland 0 6.99 6.99 -0.94 0
  3 Sweden 0 7.24 7.24 -2.01 1
  4 Denmark 0 8.57 8.57 0.44 -1
  5 Costa Rica 10.99 8.21 8.76 -1.77 2
  6 Netherlands 13.86 8.74 9.67 -0.29 -1
  7 Jamaica 0 9.96 9.96 -0.55 -1
  8 New Zealand 0 10.04 10.04 -0.65 1
  9 Portugal 0 10.11 10.11 -1.72 1
  10 Switzerland 6.93 10.55 10.55 -0.07 -2
  11 Belgium 6.93 11.69 11.69 -0.88 1
  12 Ireland 0 11.91 11.91 -0.69 1
  13 Germany 43.31 8.25 15.24 3.08 -2
  14 Canada 0 15.25 15.25 -0.04 2
  15 Estonia 0 15.25 15.25 2.64 -1
  16 Iceland 0 15.37 15.37 0.25 -1
  17 Austria 10.99 16.34 16.34 0.56 1
  18 Uruguay 0 16.38 16.38 0.59 1
  19 Suriname 0 16.95 16.95 -0.55 1
  20 Luxembourg 0 17.56 17.56 2.10 -3
  21 Samoa 0 19.24 19.24 0.99 0
  22 Latvia 0 19.26 19.26 0.70 0
  23 Liechtenstein 0 19.49 19.49 -0.03 1
  24 Namibia 10.99 19.72 19.72 0.47 -1
  25 Australia 0 19.79 19.79 -0.42 1
  26 Cyprus 16.09 19.85 19.85 -0.60 1
  27 Cabo Verde 0 20.09 20.09 -0.06 -2
  28 Lithuania 0 20.15 20.15 -1.04 0
  29 Spain 23.98 19.70 20.44 -1.72 0
  30 Ghana 17.92 21.33 21.33 -0.93 0
  31 Trinidad and Tobago 0 21.55 21.55 -1.67 5
  32 South Africa 45.64 15.61 21.59 -0.82 -1
  33 United Kingdom 13.86 21.65 21.59 -1.34 2
  34 France 41.90 17.89 22.60 -0.32 0
  35 Slovakia 0 23.02 23.02 0.35 -2
  36 Slovenia 6.93 23.10 23.10 0.46 -4
  37 Burkina Faso 6.93 23.17 23.17 -0.30 1
  38 Botswana 6.93 23.25 23.25 -0.31 1
  39 Andorra 0 23.32 23.32 0.09 -2
  40 Czech Republic 0 23.38 23.38 -0.19 0
  41 Italy 27.73 22.63 23.39 -0.30 0
  42 South Korea 0 23.43 23.43 -0.27 0
  43 Taiwan 0 23.86 23.86 0.10 0
  44 United States 39.70 20.03 23.93 0.08 1
  45 OECS 0 23.97 23.98 0.20 -1
  46 Tonga 0 24.59 24.59 -2.68 4
  47 Papua New Guinea 0 24.88 24.88 0.95 -1
  48 Romania 0 24.91 24.91 -1 0
  49 Senegal 28.33 24.62 25.22 1.23 -2
  50 Dominican Republic 6.93 25.60 25.60 -2.30 5
  51 Guyana 0 25.61 25.61 -1.02 -2
  52 Seychelles 0 25.66 25.66 -3 11
  53 Belize 0 27.61 27.61 0.11 0
  54 Chile 30.45 27.36 27.89 0.58 -3
  55 Fiji 0 27.92 27.92 0.51 -3
  56 Croatia 0 27.95 27.95 -0.56 3
  57 Madagascar 0 28.24 28.24 0.56 -3
  58 Bosnia-Herzegovina 10.99 28.34 28.34 -0.17 0
  59 Niger 13.86 28.44 28.44 0.19 -2
  60 Georgia 0 28.64 28.64 0.05 0
  61 Mauritius 0 28.74 28.74 0.74 -5
  62 Malawi 17.92 28.80 28.80 -0.52 7
  63 Armenia 16.09 28.83 28.83 0.23 -2
  64 Poland 33.32 28.02 28.84 0.19 -2
  65 Bhutan 0 28.86 28.86 -0.04 2
  66 Côte d’Ivoire 17.92 28.87 28.87 -0.07 2
  67 Japan 0 28.88 28.88 0.02 -1
  68 Mongolia 0 28.97 28.97 -0.64 5
  69 Argentina 10.99 28.99 28.99 0.21 -5
  70 Greece 32.19 28.43 29.01 0.21 -5
  71 Timor-Leste 0 29.11 29.11 -0.79 7
  72 Maldives 0 29.13 29.13 -0.80 7
  73 Tunisia 0 29.53 29.53 0.08 -1
  74 Togo 0 29.59 29.59 0.26 -3
  75 Sierra Leone 17.92 29.61 29.61 -0.67 10
  76 Northern Cyprus 0 29.82 29.82 0.03 1
  77 Panama 0 29.94 29.94 0.16 -1
  78 Kosovo 19.46 30.32 30.32 0.99 -8
  79 Kyrgyzstan 19.46 30.36 30.37 0.18 3
  80 Hong Kong 13.86 30.44 30.44 0.43 0
  81 Malta 0 30.46 30.46 0.30 0
  82 El Salvador 0 30.49 30.49 0.79 -8
  83 Albania 23.98 30.59 30.59 0.34 1
  84 Comoros 6.93 30.65 30.65 0.88 -9
  85 Gambia 6.93 30.76 30.76 0.14 2
  86 Israel 44.07 27.78 30.90 0.06 2
  87 Haïti 0 31.12 31.12 0.92 -4
  88 Lesotho 10.99 31.54 31.61 1.16 -2
  89 Moldova 6.93 31.61 31.61 0.45 2
  90 North Macedonia 0 31.67 31.67 0.39 2
  91 Peru 13.86 31.71 31.71 0.77 -1
  92 Hungary 0 31.76 31.76 0.92 -3
  93 Serbia 31.78 32.03 32.03 0.41 0
  94 Mauritania 0 32.25 32.25 -0.29 3
  95 Guinea Bissau 0 32.68 32.68 0.62 -1
  96 Ecuador 19.46 32.83 32.83 0.21 2
  97 Ukraine 51.93 28.37 32.96 0.44 -1
  98 Liberia 27.73 33.36 33.36 1.11 -3
  99 Mali 6.93 33.50 33.50 -0.62 9
  100 Paraguay 45 30.99 33.52 0.55 0
  101 Ethiopia 30.91 33.63 33.63 0.81 -2
  102 Kenya 20.79 33.65 33.65 -0.07 1
  103 Angola 25.65 34.06 34.06 0.14 3
  104 Montenegro 21.97 34.33 34.33 0.50 1
  105 Kuwait 0 34.36 34.36 0.06 4
  106 Nepal 20.79 34.62 34.62 -0.48 6
  107 Lebanon 47.10 32.20 34.93 1.74 -5
  108 Mozambique 13.86 35.39 35.39 1.60 -4
  109 Guinea 17.92 35.42 35.42 1.08 1
  110 Bolivia 27.73 35.47 35.47 0.10 4
  111 Brazil 23.98 36.25 36.25 2.20 -4
  112 Bulgaria 24.85 37.29 37.29 2.23 -1
  113 Indonesia 0 37.40 37.40 0.58 6
  114 Benin 0 38.18 38.18 3.07 -1
  115 Zambia 0 38.21 38.21 1.21 5
  116 Guatemala 13.86 38.45 38.45 2.71 0
  117 Gabon 0 38.60 38.60 1.40 4
  118 Congo-Brazzaville 23.98 38.83 38.83 2.27 0
  119 Malaysia 0 39.47 39.47 6.35 -18
  120 Nigeria 55.01 37.38 39.69 4.06 -5
  121 Nicaragua 27.08 39.98 39.98 4.17 -4
  122 Afghanistan 63.28 34.40 40.19 2.49 0
  123 Chad 37.84 40.20 40.20 0.50 0
  124 Tanzania 0 40.69 40.69 0.44 0
  125 Uganda 39.32 41.19 41.19 0.24 0
  126 Central African Republic 0 41.92 41.92 -0.95 6
  127 Sri Lanka 29.44 45.64 42.20 0.26 0
  128 Qatar 0 42.60 42.60 0.09 1
  129 Jordan 27.08 42.89 42.89 0.81 -1
  130 Zimbabwe 34.66 43.12 43.12 2.17 -4
  131 United Arab Emirates 35.55 43.13 43.13 0.44 0
  132 Palestine 29.44 43.18 43.18 -0.91 5
  133 Oman 0 43.37 43.37 -0.05 2
  134 Colombia 45.64 43.44 43.74 1.08 -4
  135 Cameroon 43.57 43.78 43.78 0.50 -1
  136 Morocco / Western Sahara 55.21 41.86 43.94 1.06 -3
  137 Thailand 52.98 44.15 45.22 0.28 3
  138 Philippines 58.97 42.89 45.64 2.10 -2
  139 South Sudan 30.45 45.78 45.78 1.29 -1
  140 Myanmar 30.91 46.14 46.14 1.37 -1
  141 Eswatini 24.85 46.34 46.34 1.19 0
  142 India 60.73 43.47 46.56 1.23 0
  143 Mexico 67.25 41.84 46.71 1.26 0
  144 Cambodia 33.32 46.84 46.84 1.38 0
  145 Pakistan 59.64 44.16 46.86 1.34 0
  146 Algeria 35.55 47.26 47.26 1.74 0
  147 Burundi 39.32 47.57 47.57 -7.76 13
  148 Venezuela 54.29 46.16 47.60 1.94 -1
  149 Democratic Republic of Congo 43.82 48.59 48.59 -0.50 1
  150 Russia 52.98 48 48.71 -0.21 -1
  151 Honduras 56.70 47.83 49.35 1.15 -3
  152 Bangladesh 51.06 49.71 49.71 0.34 -1
  153 Turkey 66.12 46.14 49.79 -0.23 1
  154 Brunei 0 49.91 49.91 0.26 -2
  155 Kazakhstan 13.86 50.28 50.28 -3.83 2
  156 Rwanda 30.45 50.66 50.66 0.32 -1
  157 Uzbekistan 13.86 50.74 50.74 -2.33 -1
  158 Belarus 61.68 48.24 50.82 1.07 -5
  159 Sudan 30.45 52.93 52.93 -2.40 0
  160 Singapore 0 55.20 55.20 -0.03 -2
  161 Somalia 45.43 55.47 55.47 0.02 2
  162 Tajikistan 47.36 55.52 55.52 0.18 -1
  163 Iraq 64.71 53.57 55.57 0.20 -1
  164 Equatorial Guinea 0 55.67 55.67 -0.71 1
  165 Libya 46.05 55.73 55.73 -0.04 -1
  166 Egypt 64.13 54.67 56.17 -0.65 0
  167 Azerbaijan 50.24 58.77 58.77 0.29 1
  168 Bahrain 64.91 60.11 61.10 0.97 1
  169 Yemen 53.33 62.35 62.35 4.10 -2
  170 Saudi Arabia 71.07 61.15 62.73 0.59 0
  171 Cuba 0 63.93 63.94 0.13 0
  172 Laos 57.53 70.56 70.56 6.28 0
  173 Syria 82.59 68.11 70.63 -1.94 1
  174 Iran 67.39 70.11 72.70 7.89 -1
  175 Vietnam 68.04 75.18 78.46 3.75 0
  176 Djibouti 10.99 78.62 78.62 1.89 0
  177 China 81.77 78.10 78.72 0.24 0
  178 Turkmenistan 0 80.03 80.03 -5.41 1
  179 North Korea 51.93 81.28 81.28 -4.54 1
  180 Eritrea 73.05 82.05 81.45 -2.05 -2

The press freedom map

The press freedom map, which is distributed in print and digital versions, offers a visual overview of the situation in each country and region in the Index. The colour categories are assigned as follows: good (white), fairly good (yellow), problematic (orange), bad (red) and very bad (black).

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