The U.S. has been demoted from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" for the first time.
The Economist Intelligence Unit tracks the nations of the world with a "Democracy Index" grading countries' electoral process, civil liberties, government function, political participation and political culture.
The list has four categories: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.
So what does a 'flawed democracy' mean?
America's score slipped from 8.05 to 7.98, putting it just under the threshold for a "full democracy." That classification describes countries with free elections but weak governance, an "underdeveloped" political culture and low political participation.
How'd that happen?
The report cited a lack of trust in political institutions as a major cause for the reduced score. Americans' trust in political institutions has long been on the decline and "this has had a corrosive effect on the quality of democracy."
At least the U.S. is in good company. The report said nearly half of the 167 countries on its lists saw its scores decline between 2006 and 2016.
Even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, [the U.S.'s] score would have slipped below 8.00.
No, it's not because of Trump
The report said specifically that President Trump's election was not the reason for the slip.
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