Corruption, directly and indirectly, impacts the lives of all citizens. While corruption is rampant in some countries however it is a constant and moving phenomenon worldwide. It becomes important to assess how countries have performed year on year.
The world’s most often referred metric for measuring corruption for the last 10+ years across 180 countries is the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International.
As per Transparency International’s annual index, some of the most corrupt countries in the world are from Africa and the middle east regions like South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
Most Corrupt Countries and details
Countries topping the index are nordic countries like Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand with a score of 88 each. Most of these Nordic countries have topped the CPI in the last 10 years consistently. 14 out of the top 20 least corrupt countries are European countries.
Few countries from Asia are also ranked in the Top 20 list like Singapore (#4), Hong Kong (#12), and Japan (#18).
The world’s oldest democracy the U.S.A is ranked at 27th, while the communist republic China is at 66th, and the world’s largest democracy India is at 85th position. (Ranked from Least to Most Corrupt)
Daniel Eriksson, Chief Executive Officer, Transparency International Secretariat said, “In authoritarian contexts where control rests with a few, social movements are the last remaining check on power. It is the collective power held by ordinary people from all walks of life that will ultimately deliver accountability.”
Based on the perceived levels of public sector corruption in various surveys and assessments in which experts, analysts, and business people participate, the CPI arrives at the score for 180 countries and territories across the world.
Seychelles, Africa’s smallest country by size, registered a huge jump in its ranking by improving 18 points with a score of 70. It is the least corrupt African country. While some other neighboring countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus have also shown good improvement and made it to the list of top 15 least corrupt countries.
While on the flip side, in the last 10 years, developed economies like Australia and Canada have fallen by 12 and 10 points in CPI scores respectively.
In the last few years, Armenia is a classic example of the success of the CPI. The country’s score rose by 14 points in 2017 to 49 in 2021. The reform-oriented government was formed after huge protests in 2018 which led to the fall of the entrenched political elite government.
There is no looking back since then as the Armenian government has expanded civil liberties that led to more sustainable engagement and accountability towards its citizens. However, the reform agenda is on the backfoot in the past year despite the progress made by the government.
The Philippines has been declining for the last many years from a score of 38 in 2014 to 33 in 2021. Ever since the people of the Philipines elected President Rodrigo Duterte, there is a steep decline in freedom of association and freedom of expression. Because of this people are finding it tough to raise their voice against corruption.
A couple of years back, there were 25 deaths of human rights defenders registered in the country, which is the second-highest number of murders in the year 2020.
The key to the phenomenal success of Singapore is its modernized economy and efficient bureaucracy. Also, the law of the land is very strong in the Asian country which is the best tourist attraction place in the Asian region.
However, it lags on matters related to human rights like freedom of expression and association wherein any anti-corruption success is associated with the political willpower of the ruling elite.
For almost a decade now, Azerbaijan is consistent in its CPI score which is varying from 25 to 30. In a recent report unearthed following the Azerbaijani Laundromat investigation in the year 2017, it was found that a huge slush fund has financed the then government’s reputation through money laundering.
Huge payments were made to politicians from different parts of Europe via Danske Bank while arresting opposition leaders and media personalities.
Full list of the World’s Most Corrupt Countries
Here is the complete list of 180 countries worldwide based on the CPI score from least corrupt ranking to most corrupt.
|United Arab Emirates||69||24|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||59||36|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||45||66|
|Trinidad and Tobago||41||82|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||35||110|
|Papua New Guinea||31||124|
|Central African Republic||24||154|
|Republic of the Congo||21||162|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||21||162|
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