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Most Corrupt States

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Introduction

Corruption, tragically, permeates all levels of society, from local precincts to grand halls of power. It weaves an unspoken narrative, impacting the governance and economic progression of regions across the globe. The United States, while faring better than numerous other countries, is not entirely immune to this menace. To shed light on this issue, we turn to the data that quantitatively captures corruption at the state level - the number of public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents.

  • Louisiana surfaced as the most corrupt state with the highest rate of corruption convictions, clocking in at 2.00 per 10,000 people. Mississippi closely followed, registering a conviction rate of 1.89 per 10,000 people, while Alaska, South Dakota, and North Dakota held subsequent positions with 1.83, 1.77, and 1.75 convictions respectively. 
  • States with a noted history of political scandals and corruption cases, like New York and Illinois, also ranked high, reporting more than 1.3 convictions per 10,000 residents. 
  • Significant regional discrepancies emerged. States on the lower end of the corruption scale are predominantly found in the NorthWest and Midwest. Washington, Oregon, Utah, New Hampshire, and Minnesota reported less than 0.36 convictions per 10,000 residents, suggesting a lower level of public corruption compared to the rest of the country. 
  • While northeastern states generally found themselves in the middle of the pack, Rhode Island and Connecticut deviated from regional trends and reported higher conviction rates, resembling patterns seen in more corrupt southern and midwestern states.
  • Despite being populous states with sprawling urban establishments, California, Texas, and Florida exhibited relatively lower rates of corruption convictions, all reporting less than 1 conviction per 10,000 residents. This potentially points towards robust governance or possible underreporting of corruption.

10 Most Corrupt States

Leading the list is Louisiana, noting a disconcerting rate of 2.00 corruption convictions per 10,000 people. Following closely is Mississippi with a conviction rate of 1.89 per 10,000 residents, earning its unfortunate place as the second right on our list. The third place is held by Alaska, clocking in at 1.83 corruption convictions per 10,000 people.

South Dakota, North Dakota, and Illinois occupy the subsequent ranks, with corruption conviction rates of 1.77, 1.75, and 1.42 per 10,000 residents, respectively. Montana and Alabama share the seventh position with equal rates of 1.37 convictions per 10,000 people. Next in line is Kentucky with a rate of 1.33 per 10,000 residents which is shared with Tennessee ranking tenth with an equally worrying rate.

10 Most Corrupt States (Corruption Convictions per 10k people):

  1. Louisiana - 2.00 Corruption Convictions
  2. Mississippi - 1.89 Corruption Convictions
  3. Alaska - 1.83 Corruption Convictions
  4. South Dakota - 1.77 Corruption Convictions
  5. North Dakota - 1.75 Corruption Convictions
  6. Illinois - 1.42 Corruption Convictions
  7. Alabama - 1.37 Corruption Convictions
  8. Montana - 1.37 Corruption Convictions
  9. Kentucky - 1.33 Corruption Convictions
  10. Tennessee - 1.33 Corruption Convictions

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology