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FSD1216 Democratization and Power Resources 1850-2000

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Vanhanen, Tatu (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)


This large longitudinal study is the result of professor Tatu Vanhanen's long-term research on democratization and power resources. International scientific community knows this data also by the name "Vanhanen's Index of Power Resources". The data have been collected from several written sources and have been published as appendices of five different books. The books are listed in the section Data sources below. The original sources of the numerical data published in these books have been collected to a separate document containing background information.

Vanhanen divides the variables of his dataset into two main groups. The first group consists of Measures of Democracy and includes three variables. The second group is called Measures of Resource Distribution.

The variables in the first group (Measures of Democracy) are Competition, Participation and Index of Democratization. The value of Competition is calculated by subtracting the percentage of votes/seats gained by the largest political party in parliamentary elections and/or in presidential (executive) elections from 100%. The Participation variable is an aggregate of the turnout in elections (percentage of the total population who voted in the same election) and the number of referendums. Each national referendum raises the value of Participation by five percentage points and each state referendum by one percentage point for the year of the referendum. The upper limit for both variables is 70%. Index of Democratization is derived by first multiplying the above mentioned variables Competition and Participation and then dividing this product by 100.

Six variables are used to measure resource distribution: 1) Urban Population (%) (as a percentage of total population). 2) Non-Agricultural Population (%) (derived by subtracting the percentage of agricultural population from 100%). 3) Number of students: the variable denotes how many students there are in universities and other higher education institutions per 100.000 inhabitants of the country. Two ways are used to calculate the percentage of Students (%): before the year 1988 the value 1000 of the variable Number of students is equivalent to 100% and between the years 1988-1998 the value 5000 of the same variable is equivalent to 100%. 4) Literates (%) (as a percentage of adult population). 5) Family Farms Are (%) (as a percentage of total cultivated area or of total area of holdings). 6) Degree of Decentralization of Non-Agricultural Economic Resources. This variable has been calculated from the 1970s.

Three new variables have been derived from the above mentioned six variables. 1) Index of Occupational Diversification is derived by calculating the arithmetic mean of Urban Population and Non-Agricultural Population. 2) Index of Knowledge Distribution is derived by calculating the arithmetic mean of Students and Literates. 3) Index of Distribution of Economic Power Resources is derived by first multiplying the value of Family Farm Area with the percentage of agricultural population. Then the value of Degree of Decentralization of Non-Agricultural Economic Resources is multiplied with the percentage of Non-Agricultural Population. After this these two products are simply added up.

Finally two new variables have derived from the above mentioned variables. First derived variable is Index of Power Resources, calculated by multiplying the values of Index of Occupational Diversification, Index of Knowledge Distribution and Index of the Distribution of Economic Power Resources and then dividing the product by 10 000. The second derived variable Mean is the arithmetic mean of the five (from the 1970s six) explanatory variables. This differs from Index of Power Resources in that a low value of any single variable does not reduce the value of Mean to any great extent.


agricultural society; competition; democracy; democratization; economic and social development; knowledge distribution; literacy; participation; political power; resources; rural population; students; urban population; urbanization

Topic Classification

economics; international politics; political studies; sociology (FSD Topics Classification)

economic conditions and indicators; international politics and organisations (CESSDA Topics Classification)


The dataset is (A) openly available for all users without registration.

Data Collector

Vanhanen, Tatu (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)


United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Albania, Armenia, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Burundi, Benin, Brunei, Bolivia, Brazil, Bahamas, Bhutan, Botswana, Belarus, Belize, Canada, Congo (Zaire), Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Switzerland, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Chile, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Czech Republic, German Democratic Republic GDR, Germany, West-Germany, Djibouti, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Algeria, Ecuador, Estonia, Egypt, Eritrea, Spain, Ethiopia, Finland, Fiji, Micronesia, France, Gabon, United Kingdom, Grenada, Georgia, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Croatia, Haiti, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, India, Iraq, Iran, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Comoros, Saint Kitts and Nevis, North Korea, South Korea, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Libya, Morocco, Moldova, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Mali, Myanmar (Burma), Mongolia, Mauritania, Malta, Mauritius, Maldives, Malawi, Mexico, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Nicaragua, The Netherlands, Norway, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Paraguay, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, Sudan, Sweden, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Somalia, Serbia, Suriname, Sao Tome and Principe, Russia (USSR, Soviet Union), El Salvador, Syria, Swaziland, Chad, Togo, Thailand, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Tonga, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Uganda, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela, Vietnam, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Western Samoa, Vanuatu, Yemen, South Yemen, North Yemen, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Geographical Coverage

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Hertzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Myanmar (Burma), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Zaire), Costa Rica, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, German Democratic Republic GDR, Germany, West-Germany, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, North Korea, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Luxemburg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Russia (USSR, Soviet Union), Rwanda, Western Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Yemen, North Yemen, South Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Analysis Unit

Geographic unit (Country)


The countries mentioned above

Sampling Procedure

Total universe/Complete enumeration

The data contains information on all states found in openly available public documents.

Collection Mode


Research Instrument

Data collection guidelines: Secondary data collection guide

Time Method

Time series

Data Source

Vanhanen, Tatu (1979). Power and the means of power : a study of 119 Asian, European, American, and African states, 1850-1975. Ann Arbor : University Microfilm International. Appendix C, D, E, F, I & bibliography, pp. 267-385.

Vanhanen, Tatu (1984). The Emergence of Democracy : A comparative study of 119 states, 1850-1979. Helsinki : Societas Scientiarum Fennica. - (Commentationes Scientiarum Socialium; 24) Appendix & bibliography, pp. 137-159

Vanhanen, Tatu (1997). Prospects of Democracy : A study of 172 countries. New York : Routledge. Appendix 2,3, 4, 5 & bibliography, pp. 208-237, 345-360.

Vanhanen, Tatu (1990). The Process of Democratization : A comparative study of 147 states, 1980-88. New York : Crane Russak (A member of the Taylor & Francis Group). Appendix 2, 3, 4 & bibliography, pp. 233-274, 289-313.

Vanhanen, Tatu (2003). Democratization: A Comparative Analysis of 170 Countries. London: Routledge.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Department of Sociology and Political Science (2000). The Polyarchy Dataset: Vanhanen's Index of Democracy. Available from: [cited 24.3.2003]

Collection Size

Data: SPSS portable file, excel file and ASCII file in English. Data available also in other file formats.

Data version

1.0 (10.3.2003)

Other Material

See downloadable files at the top of the page

Background informatin: Original sources (pdf file)

The document contains bibliographic citations of publications that Vanhanen used in the books that form the basis of this data.

List of variables: text file in English

The Polyarchy Dataset: Vanhanen's Index of Democracy

Part of the data (measures of democracy) have been published on the web pages of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), by the name of 'The Polyarchy Dataset: Vanhanen's Index of Democracy'

Related Studies

FSD1289 Measures of Democracy 1810-2004

FSD2140 Gender-Weighted Index of Democratization 1995-2004

FSD2420 Index of Power Resources (IPR) 2007

Citation Requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical Citation

Vanhanen, Tatu (University of Tampere): Democratization and Power Resources 1850-2000 [dataset]. Version 1.0 (2003-03-10). Finnish Social Science Data Archive [distributor].

Depositing Requirements

The user shall notify the archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.


The original data creators and the archive bear no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the reuse of the data.

Related Publications

Aidt, Toke S. & Eterovic, Dalibor S. (2011). Political competition, electoral participation and public finance in 20th century Latin America. European Journal of Political Economy 27(1), 181-200. doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2010.06.006

Aleman, Jose & Yang, David (2008). A Duration Analysis of Democratic Transitions and Authoritarian Backslides. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL. [12.11.2010]

Amendola, Adalgiso & Easaw, Joshy & Savoia, Antonio (2011). Inequality in developing economies: the role of institutional development. Public Choice, Published online: 03 August 2011. doi:10.1007/s11127-011-9838-3

Ansell, B. & Samuels, D. (2010). Inequality and democratization: A contractarian approach. Comparative Political Studies 43(12), 1543-1574. doi:10.1177/0010414010376915

Attar, Riad A. (2009). Data and estimation and results (Chapter 7). In: Arms and Conflict in the Middle East (ed. Manas Chatterji). Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Volume 13, 123-165. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Blanco, Luisa (2010). Life is Unfair in Latin America, But Does it Matter for Growth? World Development 38(3), 393-404. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2009.09.002

Bulut, Levent (2009). Market Disciplining of the Developing Countries' Sovereign Governments. Emory University, Department of Economics. Working Paper 2009-02. [2.12.2010]

Bye, Fredrik (2015). Ökonomisk Ulikhet og Regimestabilitet i Autokratier. Oslo: University of Oslo. Bachelor´s thesis.

Easterly, William (2007). Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument. Journal of Development Economics 84(2), 755-776. doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2006.11.002

Foot, Kirsten A. & Schneider, Steven M. & Kluver, Randolph & Xenos, Michael & Jankowski, Nicholas W. (2007). Comparing web production practices across electoral web spheres. In: The Internet and National Elections. A comparative study of web campaigning (eds. Randolph Kluver, Nicholas W. Jankowski, Kirsten A. Foot & Steven M. Schneider), 243-260. Routledge Research in Political Communication. Routledge.

Foot, Kirsten A. & Xenos, Michael & Schneider, Steven M. & Kluver, Randolph & Jankowski, Nicholas W. (2009). Electoral web production practices in cross-national persepctive: the relative influence of national development, political culture, and web genre. In: Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics (eds. Andrew Chadwick & Philip N. Howard), 40-55. Routledge.

Kennedy, Ryan (2010). The Contradiction of Modernization: A Conditional Model of Endogenous Democratization. Journal of Politics 72(3), p785-798. DOI: 10.1017/S0022381610000162

Kirilovas, Evaldas (2015). The Impact of Electoral Competitiveness on Tax Burden: [Manuscript]: Bachelor Thesis: Economics and Politics. Vilnius, ISM University of Management and Economics.

Kurkova, Tereza (2015). Vliv nerostneho bohatstvi na uroven demokracie v Latinske Americe. Univerzita Hradec Kralove. Filozoficka fakulta. Katedra politologie. Diplomova prace

Lynn, Richard & Vanhanen, Tatu (2006). IQ and Global Inequality. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers.

Mares, Isabela & Queralt, Didac (2015). The Non-Democratic Origins of Income Taxation. Comparative Political Studies. First published on July 30, 2015. doi:10.1177/0010414015592646

Müller, Thomas & Pickel, Susanne (2007). Wie lässt sich Demokratie am besten messen? Zur Konzeptqualität von Demokratie-Indizes. Politische Vierteljahresschrift 48(3), 511-539. doi:10.1007/s11615-007-0089-3

Oinonen, Eriikka (2008). Families in Converging Europe. A Comparison of Forms, Structures and Ideals. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Studies in Family and Intimate Life.

Savoia, Antonio & Easaw, Joshy & McKay, Andrew (2010). Inequality, Democracy, and Institutions: A Critical Review of Recent Research. World Development 38(2), 142-154. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2009.10.009

Svolik, Milan (2008). Authoritarian Reversals and Democratic Consolidation. American Political Science Review 102(2), 153-168.

Vanhanen, Tatu (2003). Democratization: A Comparative Analysis of 170 Countries. London: Routledge.

Vanhanen, Tatu (2006). Evolutionary Roots of Global Problems. Teoksessa: Aatteet, instituutiot ja poliittinen toiminta (toim. Ruostetsaari, Ilkka), 161-176. Tampere: Tampereen yliopisto. Studia Politica Tamperensis; 16.

Vanhanen, Tatu (2007). Human Diversity Reflected in Levels of Purchasing Power Parity, Democratization and the Human Condition. Mankind Quarterly 48(2), 141-155.

Vanhanen, Tatu (2011). Globaalit haasteet. Demokratia, etninen väkivalta ja eriarvoisuus. Esitelmä Tilastoseuran Globaalit muutokset ja tilastotiede -iltapäiväseminaarissa 4.3.2010. Teoksessa: Suomen Tilastoseuran vuosikirja 2010, 104-115. Helsinki: Suomen Tilastoseura.

Vanhanen, Tatu (2011). National IQs and their demographic correlates. Personality and Individual Differences. Available online 7 September 2011. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.08.007

Vanhanen, Tatu (2013). Miksi Kiina lähtee lentoon ja Kongo ei? Yhteiskuntien älykkyyserot ja niiden huomiointi kehityksessä. Helsinki: East-West Books.

Vreeland, James R. (2008). The Effect of Political Regime on Civil War. Unpacking Anocracy. Journal of Conflict Resolution 52(3), 401-425. doi: 10.1177/0022002708315594

Wills-Johnson, Nick (2010). Lessons for sustainability from the world's most sustainable culture. Environment, Development and Sustainability 12(6), 909-925. doi:10.1007/s10668-010-9231-2

» Up-to-date description of this dataset in Aila

[Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format]

updated 2017-10-14