With the rising tide of democracies in 1996, press freedom increased slightly in 39 countries, but was marginally reduced in 52 others. Often, insecure leaders tightened the screws on journalists for exhibiting “too much freedom.” Significant improvement in press freedom was recorded in five countries, major declines in six. At year's end, 2,374 million people lived in 63 countries without a free press, 2,249 million in 57 countries with a partly-free press, and only 1,148 million in 67 countries with a free press.