Special Report

How Free Is the Press in the World's Richest Countries


To determine the degree of freedom available to journalists in the world’s richest countries, 24/7 Wall St. ranked 2020 World Press Freedom Index scores from Paris-based international non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in the 50 countries with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. 

RSF administered a survey to media professionals, lawyers, sociologists, and other experts around the world and combined these survey results with quantitative data on abuses and violence against journalists and media outlets. This data was collected in 2019 for 180 countries. The scores range between 0 (good situation) and 100 (very serious situation).

Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in current international dollars for the 194 countries with available data was obtained from the World Bank. All GDP figures are for 2019, the latest year for which data is available. 

Macao SAR, China, San Marino, Aruba, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten (Dutch part) — the 1st, 6th, 13th, 39th, 42nd, 44th, 48th richest regions based on World Bank GDP per capita — were not among the 180 countries and territories reviewed by RSF. 

We also considered gross national income (GNI) per capita where available, an income measurement that includes income from residents, businesses, and foreign sources. GNI was also obtained from the World Bank. The countries’ population figures also came from the World Bank and are as of 2019.

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