International Voting Statistics

Color Coding Key
GREEN Ranked 1st for statistic
RED Ranked last for statistic

The United States has a very low voter turnout among the 12 countries studied during parliamentary elections and is more reluctant to vote women into office.

  Date of most recent election/renewal Election type Voter turnout as percent of those registered Percent seats held by women, lower or single chamber Percent seats held by women, upper chamber
Australia 2013 Parliamentary 93.23* 26.0 41.3
Canada 2011 Parliamentary 61.41 24.7 37.9
Denmark 2015 Parliamentary 85.89 39.1 N/A (unicameral)
France 2012 Presidential 80.35 26.9 22.1
Germany 2013 Parliamentary 71.55 32.8 21.7
Italy 2013 Parliamentary 75.19 31.4 28.8
Japan 2014 Parliamentary 52.66 9.5 18.2
Netherlands 2012 Parliamentary 74.56 38.7 34.7
Norway 2013 Parliamentary 78.23 39.6 N/A (unicameral)
Sweden 2014 Parliamentary 85.81 43.6 N/A (unicameral)
United Kingdom 2015 Parliamentary 66.12 22.0 24.15
United States (2012)
2014
(Presidential)
Parliamentary
(67.95)
42.50
19.31 20.0

*Compulsory voting

U.S. Presidential elections yield better turnout than parliamentary elections as significantly demonstrated by the U.S. 2014 voter turnout, a congresional election year, of 42.50%.

Voter turnout as percent of those registered View Graphical Data

Percent of seats held by women in lower and upper chambers View Graphical Data

Sources:

View IDEA voting statistics

"Voter Turnout Rates from a Comparative Perspective," by Rafael López Pintor, Maria Gratschew and Kate Sullivan, International IDEA, 2002 (pdf) . See page 9, Figure 13: League table by country, vote to voting age population ratio. Parliamentary elections 1945-2001. This report is based on the International IDEA Voter Turnout Database. Their Voter Turnout page allows data to be viewed by country. "The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide." It is based in Stockholm with regional offices. The US is not a member.

Notes:

Low US turnout

The low number for the US is likely affected by the large number of non-citizen immigrants, criminal convictions denying the vote, and non-registration, as well as not voting by choice.

"Why Does the US Still Have So Few Women in Office?" Steven Hill

The Nation, March 7, 2014. Notes from author's email newsletter: " The US currently is ranked 98th in the world for women's representation, and getting worse (in 1998 the US was ranked 59th). Research shows that the presence of more female legislators makes a significant difference in terms of the policy that gets passed."

Election day as a holiday

"Studies also show that other countries like France, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand have dramatically higher rates of turnout -- up to 70 and 80 percent -- when Election Day is a holiday, or held on the weekend, versus an average of 55 percent here in the U.S. in presidential election years. Here in the U.S., we rank 138th out of 172 around the world in voter participation."

Micronations (populations less than 100,000) have been excluded from ranking totals which distort the situation.

Wolff et al. (see Human Development Index note) report of 1992, out of date.

Number of politically motivated demonstrations, strikes,
riots and armed attacks over 30 years
United Kingdom 5,136
United States 4,258
Denmark 55
France 1,566
Germany 622
Japan 524
Canada 260
Finland 63
Netherlands 57
Denmark 55
Switzerland 39
Sweden 33
United Nations Human Freedom Index, 1993
Sweden 38
Denmark 38
Netherlands 37
Austria 36
Finland 36
France 35
Germany 35
Canada 34
Switzerland 34
Australia 33
United States 33
Japan 32
United Kingdom 32