The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 Democracy Index looked at the state of democracy in 165 nations and two territories around the world.
The index ranks countries based on five categories — "electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture."
The countries are then classified into one of four types of governments: "full democracy," "flawed democracy," "hybrid regime," and "authoritarian regime."
Canada ranked as the sixth freest "full democracy" in the world, receiving a 9.15 score out of 10. It's Canada's highest ranking in the study so far; the country previously sat at 9.08 for several years.
The score was calculated from its high ranks on electoral process, government function and civil liberties. Canada only fared somewhat poorly in the category of political participation.
The U.S. did not fare as well.
Canada's neighbour fell for the first time this year to a "flawed democracy" instead of a "full" one.
U.S. ranking not Trump's fault
But, the report argues, it wasn't the election of President Donald Trump that allowed the country to drop in the rankings, but a lack of confidence in political institutions.
"Rather, it was caused by the same factors that led Mr Trump to the White House: a continued erosion of trust in government and elected officials, which the index measures using data from global surveys," The Economist wrote.
The report was titled "Revenge of the 'deplorables,'" referring to the "popular revolt in 2016 against political elites," the study explained.
The U.S. wasn't the only nation to backslide. Nineteen eastern European countries dropped in the rankings last year, thanks to what the report cited as a "weakening of electoral processes."
Author: Sarah Rieger