The Freedom of the Press (FOP) ranking provides numerical scores evaluating the legal environment for the media, political pressures that influence reporting and economic factors that affect access to news and information. Every year, the ranking assigns each country's media environment a score from 0 to 100, placing it on an interval scale divided into 3 categories:

Free – countries with a score fro 0 to 30

Partly free – countries with a score from 31 to 60

Not free – 61 to 100

Datasets, provided in Excel format, gather the score (0 to100) and ranking (Free; Partly free; Not free) for each country from 1980 onwards. Detailed data and subscores for the period 1980-2016 can be downloaded here.

Added value

The index provides an inclusive assessment as it takes into consideration three dimensions: 

A= Laws and regulations that influence media content.

B= Political pressures and controls on media content (including harassment or violence against journalists or facilities, censorship, self-censorship etc)

C= Economic influences over media content.


External analysts assess the 199 countries and territories, using a combination of on-the-ground research, consultations with local contacts, and information from news articles, non governmental organizations, governments, and a variety of other sources. Expert advisers and regional specialists then vet the analysts’ conclusions. The final product represents the consensus of the analysts, advisers, and Freedom House staff.

Methodological changes have been effected periodically. For discussions of these changes, please consult the methodology essays for various editions of the survey. For a full explanation of the current methodology, please consult the most recent edition of the survey.

Available datasets:

ACategory breakdown (1980-1989) (1990-2016) :

Absolute numbers and percentage of countries labelled as Free/Partly free/Not free. Data are provided at the global and regional level

B) Scores and Status Data (1980-2016) :

Score and status for every country. The data can be viewed either globally or regionally.

C) Detailed data and sub-scores (1980-2016)

Compendium of each country's press freedom status, scores, and sub-scores (political, legal, economic) as published in Freedom House's annual Press Freedom survey from 1980-2016

Tags: Media freedom Legal protection Political pressure
Publication Date: 01/02/2017
Source: Freedom House
Dataset format: xls
Accessibility: free