Countries ranked by freedom of press

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Countries ranked by freedom of press, using the latest evaluation of the level of freedom available to journalists around the world.

Colour-coded map of countries ranked by freedom of press
Countries ranked by freedom of press (Reporters Without Borders)

Since 2002, Reporters Without Borders has released its annual World Press Freedom Index. The index assesses and ranks 180 countries and regions according to the degree of freedom available to journalists.

The index uses five categories to rank the press freedom situation in every country:

  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Problematic
  • Difficult
  • Very serious

The index is not an evaluation of the quality of journalism. The index is an assessment of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region.

The index draws on data gathered from an 87-question survey sent out to journalists in 180 countries. The analysis of the questionnaires is combined with quantitative data available on abuses and acts of violence towards journalists throughout the evaluation period. 


10 countries with the freest press

Journalists in these 10 countries enjoy the highest level of freedom.

  1. Norway
  2. Finland
  3. Denmark
  4. Sweden
  5. Netherlands
  6. Jamaica
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Switzerland
  9. New Zealand
  10. Portugal

Key findings from the World Press Freedom Index

  • Norway topped the index for the fourth successive year.
  • North Korea has the lowest level of press freedom.
  • Malaysia (101st), the Maldives (79th) and Sudan (159th) registered the biggest rises in the 2020 index – improving 22, 19 and 16 places respectively.
  • The countries with the biggest declines were Haiti, dropping 21 places to 83rd; Comoros, down 19 places to 75th; and Benin, down 17 places to 113th.
  • Europe continues to enjoy the most media freedom of any region, followed by the Americas although the regional heavyweights of the USA and Brazil have become more hostile towards the media.
  • The Asia-Pacific region has seen a significant rise in press freedom violations.
  • The Middle East and North Africa continue to be the world’s most dangerous region for journalists.

Countries ranked by freedom of press

The table below is a complete index of 180 countries ranked by freedom of press. Some countries have been excluded due to insufficient sample size.

RankCountryScore2019 RankChange
1Norway7.8410
2Finland7.9320
3Denmark8.1352
4Sweden9.253-1
5Netherlands9.964-1
6Jamaica10.5182
7Costa Rica10.53103
8Switzerland10.626-2
9New Zealand10.697-2
10Portugal11.83122
11Germany12.16132
12Belgium12.579-3
13Ireland12.6152
14Estonia12.6111-3
15Iceland15.1214-1
16Canada15.29182
17Luxembourg15.46170
18Austria15.7816-2
19Uruguay15.79190
20Suriname17.5200
21Samoa18.25221
22Latvia18.56242
23Namibia19.25230
24Liechtenstein19.52262
25Cape Verde20.15250
26Australia20.2121-5
27Cyprus20.45281
28Lithuania21.19302
29Spain22.16290
30Ghana22.2627-3
31South Africa22.41310
32Slovenia22.64342
33Slovakia22.67352
34France22.9232-2
35UK22.9333-2
36Trinidad & Tobago23.22393
37Andorra23.23370
38Burkina Faso23.4736-2
39Botswana23.56445
40Czech Rep.23.57400
41Italy23.69432
42South Korea23.741-1
43Taiwan23.7642-1
44OECS23.78506
45USA23.85483
46Papua New Guinea23.9338-8
47Senegal23.99492
48Romania25.9147-1
49Guyana26.63512
50Tonga27.2745-5
51Chile27.3146-5
52Fiji27.41520
53Belize27.5530
54Madagascar27.68540
55Dominican Rep.27.9550
56Mauritius28582
57Niger28.25669
58Bosnia & Herz.28.51635
59Croatia28.51645
60Georgia28.59600
61Armenia28.6610
62Poland28.6559-3
63Seychelles28.66696
64Argentina28.7857-7
65Greece28.8650
66Japan28.86671
67Bhutan28.98013
68Ivory Coast28.94713
69Malawi29.3268-1
70Kosovo29.33755
71Togo29.33765
72Tunisia29.45720
73Mongolia29.6170-3
74El Salvador29.7817
75Comoros29.7756-19
76Panama29.78793
77North Cyprus 29.7974-3
78East Timor29.9846
79Maldives29.939819
80Hong Kong30.0173-7
81Malta30.1677-4
82Kyrgyzstan30.19831
83Haiti30.262-21
84Albania30.2582-2
85Sierra Leone30.28861
86Lesotho30.4578-8
87Gambia30.62925
88Israel30.84880
89Hungary30.8487-2
90Peru30.9485-5
91Moldova31.16910
92Macedonia31.28953
93Serbia31.6290-3
94Guinea-Bissau32.0689-5
95Liberia32.2593-2
96Ukraine32.521026
97Mauritania32.5494-3
98Ecuador32.6297-1
99Ethiopia32.8211011
100Paraguay32.9799-1
101Malaysia33.1212322
102Lebanon33.19101-1
103Kenya33.72100-3
104Mozambique33.79103-1
105Montenegro33.83104-1
106Angola33.921093
107Brazil34.05105-2
108Mali34.121124
109Kuwait34.3108-1
110Guinea34.34107-3
111Bulgaria35.061110
112Nepal35.1106-6
113Benin35.1196-17
114Bolivia35.37113-1
115Nigeria35.631205
116Guatemala35.741160
117Nicaragua35.81114-3
118Congo36.56117-1
119Indonesia36.821245
120Zambia37119-1
121Gabon37.2115-6
122Afghanistan37.7121-1
123Chad39.7122-1
124Tanzania40.25118-6
125Uganda40.951250
126Zimbabwe40.951271
127Sri Lanka41.94126-1
128Jordan42.081302
129Qatar42.51128-1
130Colombia42.66129-1
131UAE42.691332
132Central African Rep.42.8714513
133Morocco42.881352
134Cameroon43.28131-3
135Oman43.42132-3
136Philippines43.54134-2
137Palestine44.091370
138South Sudan44.491391
139Myanmar44.77138-1
140Thailand44.94136-4
141Swaziland45.151476
142India45.33140-2
143Mexico45.451441
144Cambodia45.46143-1
145Pakistan45.52142-3
146Algeria45.52141-5
147Venezuela45.661481
148Honduras48.2146-2
149Russia48.921490
150DR Congo49.091544
151Bangladesh49.37150-1
152Brunei Darussalam49.651520
153Belarus49.751530
154Turkey50.021573
155Rwanda50.341550
156Uzbekistan53.071604
157Kazakhstan54.111581
158Singapore55.23151-7
159Sudan55.3317516
160Burundi55.33159-1
161Tajikistan55.341610
162Iraq55.37156-6
163Somalia55.451641
164Libya55.77162-2
165Equatorial Guinea56.381650
166Egypt56.82163-3
167Yemen58.251681
168Azerbaijan58.48166-2
169Bahrain60.13167-2
170Saudi Arabia62.141722
171Cuba63.81169-2
172Laos64.28171-1
173Iran64.81170-3
174Syria.72.571740
175Vietnam74.711761
176Djibouti76.73173-3
177China78.481770
178Eritrea83.51780
179Turkmenistan85.441801
180North Korea85.82179-1

Source: Reporters Without Borders