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Most Corrupt Countries

Most Corrupt Countries

Corruption Around the World

Corruption is an insidious worldwide issue, infiltrating every level of society and degrading public trust, economic development, and societal progress. By deep-diving into the state of corruption globally, we can draw a vivid picture of systemic integrity issues that plague numerous nations and may compare these phenomena as they manifest across different regions.

Each year, Transparency International releases the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), placing countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. The less corrupt countries are closer to 100%, while those with a higher percentage of corruption are closer to 0%. Utilizing information from this critical source, we can identify key findings and trends in corruption globally.

Key findings from the data include:

  • The countries perceived as most corrupt, scoring below 15% on the CPI scale, include Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, and Venezuela. These countries have major issues with institutionalized corruption, which severely hampers their development and impacts their citizens' quality of life.
  • Meanwhile, African countries such as Burundi, Libya, and Equatorial Guinea share the same corruption perception as North Korea, which sits at 17% on the index.
  • European countries like Russia and Ukraine are perceived as corrupt, scoring a respective 28% and 33% on the index. This emphasizes that corruption is not a regional problem, but a global one. 
  • Among the least corrupt countries in the world, with scores above 80%, are Scandinavian countries Denmark, Finland, and Norway, along with New Zealand and Switzerland. These countries exemplify high standards of public sector transparency and stringent anti-corruption mechanisms. 
  • The United States ranks as the 24th least corrupt country with a CPI score of 69%, indicating that America also grapples with issues of public sector corruption, albeit to a far lesser extent than many other nations.

The fight against corruption requires constant vigilance and action at the international, national, and local levels. Understanding where each country stands on the corruption perception index is a critical first step towards formulating effective solutions for this deep-seated global issue.

10 Most Corrupt Countries

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the 10 countries perceived as most corrupt are Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, Venezuela, Yemen, North Korea, Burundi, Haiti, Libya, and Equatorial Guinea. Each of these nations has a CPI score below 20%, indicating severe corruption within their public sectors.

Topping the list is Somalia, with a disheartening CPI score of 12%. This country is struggling immensely with institutionalized corruption, hampering its development and compromising the quality of life for its citizens.

The second and third most corrupt countries as per the index are Syria and South Sudan, both with a CPI score of 13%. These nations are riddled with corruption, most prominently witnessed in public sector mismanagement and misuse of entrusted power for private gains.

Coming fourth is Venezuela, with a CPI score of 14%. The country's spiraling economic crisis, coupled with institutionalized corruption, has severely dampened its progress.

Yemen follows closely, ranking as the fifth most corrupt country with a CPI score of 16%. North Korea, Burundi, Haiti, Libya, and Equatorial Guinea all share the next spot on the list, demonstrating an equivalent CPI score of 17%.

10 Most Corrupt Countries:

  1. Somalia - 12%
  2. Syria - 13%
  3. South Sudan - 13%
  4. Venezuela - 14%
  5. Yemen - 16%
  6. North Korea - 17%
  7. Burundi - 17%
  8. Haiti - 17%
  9. Libya - 17%
  10. Equatorial Guinea - 17%

By Country

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Frequently Asked Questions


Year: 2023

Source: Transparency International  

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