V-Dem -

Varieties of Democracy


Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Political Science

Type of infrastructure

  • Digital collections


  • Democracy, democratization, elections, political parties, direct democracy, the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, deliberation, civil liberties, sovereignty, the state, corruption, civil society, media freedom, political equality

Name of national/international infrastructure this infrastructure belongs to

The V-Dem Institute, Gothenburg University


Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. We provide a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond the simple presence of elections. V-Dem is one of the largest-ever social science data collection efforts with a database containing over 18 million data points. Since April 2018, the dataset covers 201 countries from 1789 to 2017 with annual updates to follow. 

With five Principal Investigators (PIs), seventeen Project Managers (PMs) with special responsibility for issue areas, more than thirty Regional Managers (RMs), 170 Country Coordinators (CCs), Research Assistants, and 3,000 Country Experts (CEs), the V-Dem project is one of the largest social science data collection projects focusing on research.

Digital and physical collections

We provide data on 450+ democracy indicators, 47 mid-indices and 5 high-level indices, for 201 countries in 1789-2017 in Excel, Stata, SPSS and CSV format, all downloadable online.

Services provided

www.v-dem.net also contains online analysis tools for a number of indicators and indices.

Management of the infrastructure

The V-Dem Headquarters are located at the V-Dem Institute, Gothenburg University. Jan Teorell at the Department for Political Science, Lund university, is one of V-Dems four founders; one of five current Principal Investigators; and the Chairman of the V-Dem Steering Committee (the others being scholars at universities in Scandinavia and the US). Lund University is also together with Oslo University the two “Centers for Historical V-dem,” responsible for providing data from before 1900.

Available for loan

Available for loan - internal and external

Terms of access:

All data are in the public domain.

Recent research outputs

Hegre, H., Bernhard, M. & Jan Teorell, 2020, In : Journal of Conflict Resolution. 64, 1, p. 32-62

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jan Teorell & Lindberg, S. I., 2019 Feb 13, In : Perspectives on Politics. 17, 1, p. 66-84 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hanna Bäck, Jan Teorell & Lindberg, S. I., 2019, In : Political Studies. 67, 1, p. 149-170

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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