Out of 196 countries in the world, 113 are officially recognized as democratic states. That leaves over 80 non-democratic countries. Here is a look at the top ten.
- People’s Republic of China – China has been a communist state since 1949 and is run by the Communist Party of China. With the largest population in the world (1.385 billion), beginning in 1980, China began to strictly enforce a 1- child limit. By 2007, the law began to gradually relax and currently there is a 2-child limit in this largest of all non-democratic countries.
- North Korea – This East Asian peninsula is officially named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and is a communist state run by a dictator. In 2015, North Korea created its own time zone. The country now runs on Pyongyang Time.
- Cuba – The largest island in the Caribbean is a totalitarian communist state and officially became so after Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959. Education in Cuba is 100% subsidized by the government. Even students studying at the doctoral level are able to do so tuition free.
- Laos – Officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, this southeast Asian country is a one-party socialist state with a free market economy. Recently they’ve attracted substantial foreign investments due to a plentiful supply of mineral resources.
- Vietnam – Originally spelled “Viet Nam”, one of the non-democratic countries, this single-party socialist republic is led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. Owning about 20% of the world’s coffee market makes Vietnam the second largest producer of coffee in the world.
- Brunei – Since 1962, Brunei has been governed by an absolute monarchy. The Sultan is the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Finance Minister and the Head of Religion. Brunei is an oil-rich country that is a little smaller than the state of Delaware and has the 10th highest per capita GDP in the world.
- Bahrain – This archipelago totals 765 square kilometers and is governed by a constitutional monarchy. The Bahrain World Trade Centre was recognized with a Leading European Architects Forum Award for incorporating wind turbines into its 240-meter high design.
- Monaco – Officially named the Principality of Monaco, this Hereditary Constitutional Monarchy measures only 2 square kilometers. It’s the second smallest country in the world! Monaco gained its independence from the Republic of Genoa on January 8, 1297.
- Jordan – This constitutional hereditary monarchy is officially named, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country is widely known as a “geographic prize” due to its central location and diverse climate.
- Kuwait – After gaining independence from the U.K. in 1961, Kuwait formed a semi-democratic hybrid system of government. Today, it is run by a combination of appointed and elected officials including the Chief of State and the Crowned Prince.
– Ashley Henyan