Freedom made important strides around the world in 1996 as the number of Free countries grew from 76 to 79, the largest number since the Survey was launched in 1972. Nearly 42 percent of the countries in the world provide their citizens with a high degree of political and economic freedom and safeguard basic civil liberties. Fifty-nine countries—31 percent of the world total—are Partly Free, enjoying limited political rights and civil liberties, often in a context of corruption, a flawed justice system, ethnic strife, or war. Fifty-three countries, or 27 percent, are not free in which basic rights were suppressed and civil liberties denied. This year, there were 135 million more people lived in freedom than in 1995. In all, 1,250.3 million people (21.67 percent of the world's population) live in Free countries; 2,260.0 million people live in Partly Free countries (39.16 percent of the world's population); and 2,260.6 million people (39.17 percent) live in Not Free countries.