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This essay presents the findings of the 2004 Freedom House survey of Freedom in the World. The essay examines broad trends in political rights and civil liberties and finds 88 Free countries, 55 states are rated as Partly Free and 49 are rated as Not Free, with the widespread absence of liberties. In the last year, 25 countries registered improvements and 13 declined in their fundamental freedoms. This essay correlates levels of freedom with economic development and examines the tenure of freedom in every state as reflected by the 31-year times-series record of the survey. Freedom in the World is an annual comparative global survey of political rights and civil liberties as reflected in assessments conducted by 22 analysts and reviewed by 17 senior academic scholars.