See also the publications Voter Turnout Since 1945: A Global Report and Voter Turnout in Western Europe since 1945: A Regional Report, which are based on the data in this database.

Turnout in the World

Country by country performance

The patterns of turnout in the 1990s are not dramatically different to those of the entire post-war period as a whole. Italy gains pride of place as the highest turnout by this method of calculation. Nine of the top 20 countries are European (seven Western and two Eastern), six are African, three Asian and two Oceanian. At the other end of the scale, Mali's two elections (turnout 21.7%) gives that country the lowest average of the 171 states analysed. 12 of the bottom 20 countries are African, three are in the Middle East, one in South and Central America, one in Asia, two in the Caribbean and one in Oceania. The average turnout for all parliamentary elections, out of the 1,129 looked at in this survey, in the post 1945 period was 65% (Honduras) and the median country was Japan with 69%.

For a continuously updated record of worldwide voter turnout, please visit the IDEA Voter Turnout Database.

If we take out of the table those countries for which we only have one point of election data then the league table changes slightly. Italy maintains its top slot (with an average of 92.5%) and Cambodia moves up into second place. Italy's figure of 92.5% represents great consistency in electoral participation maintained over 14 elections and 50 years - a figure which may well be influenced both by Italy's tradition of civic participation and its system of compulsory voting. European countries retain 12 out of the top 20 places but there are now four Oceanian nations (Western Samoa and Tuvalu joining Australia and New Zealand). Mauritius is the only African country with relatively consistent high electoral participation. There are two Asian representatives but none from South and Central America. At the bottom of the table, Mali is the country with the consistently lowest voter turnout with an average turnout of 21.7% in two elections since 1992 (as a percentage of registered voters the figure is lower at 21.3%). Fewer countries in the bottom 20 are African (ten instead of 12) but more are South and Central American and Caribbean (six), along with two from the Middle East (Jordan and Yemen), one from Oceania (Nauru) and one from Asia (Pakistan). The overall average turnout for those countries holding multiple elections is 65.6% - very slightly higher than the average for all elections.

For a continuously updated record of worldwide voter turnout, please visit the IDEA Voter Turnout Database.

Voter Turnout

Access the Voter Turnout database

Voter Turnout per country: