Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World

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Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World

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Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World

How bad is public sector corruption around the world, and how do different countries compare?

No matter your system of government, the public sector plays a vital role in establishing your economic mobility and political freedoms. Measuring corruption—the abuse of power for private gain—reveals how equal a system truly is.

For more than a decade, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International has been the world’s most widely-used metric for scoring corruption. This infographic uses the 2021 CPI to visualize corruption in countries around the world, and the biggest 10-year changes.

Which Countries are Most (and Least) Corrupt?

How do you measure corruption, which includes behind-the-scenes deals, nepotism, corrupt prosecution, and bribery?

Over the last few decades, the CPI has found success doing so indirectly through perceptions.
By aggregating multiple analyses from country and business experts, the index assigns each country a score on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Here are the results of the 2021 CPI, with the least corrupt countries at the top:

Corruption Perception by Country Score (2021)
Denmark 88
Finland 88
New Zealand 88
Norway 85
Singapore 85
Sweden 85
Switzerland 84
Netherlands 82
Luxembourg 81
Germany 80
UK 78
Hong Kong 76
Austria 74
Canada 74
Estonia 74
Iceland 74
Ireland 74
Australia 73
Belgium 73
Japan 73
Uruguay 73
France 71
Seychelles 70
UAE 69
Bhutan 68
Taiwan 68
Chile 67
U.S. 67
Barbados 65
Bahamas 64
Qatar 63
Portugal 62
South Korea 62
Lithuania 61
Spain 61
Israel 59
Latvia 59
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 59
Cabo Verde 58
Costa Rica 58
Slovenia 57
Italy 56
Poland 56
Saint Lucia 56
Botswana 55
Dominica 55
Fiji 55
Georgia 55
Czechia 54
Malta 54
Mauritius 54
Cyprus 53
Grenada 53
Rwanda 53
Saudi Arabia 53
Oman 52
Slovakia 52
Armenia 49
Greece 49
Jordan 49
Namibia 49
Malaysia 48
Croatia 47
Cuba 46
Montenegro 46
China 45
Romania 45
Sao Tome and Principe 45
Vanuatu 45
Jamaica 44
South Africa 44
Tunisia 44
Ghana 43
Hungary 43
Kuwait 43
Senegal 43
Solomon Islands 43
Bahrain 42
Benin 42
Bulgaria 42
Burkina Faso 42
Belarus 41
Timor-Leste 41
Trinidad and Tobago 41
India 40
Maldives 40
Colombia 39
Ethiopia 39
Guyana 39
Kosovo 39
Morocco 39
North Macedonia 39
Suriname 39
Tanzania 39
Vietnam 39
Argentina 38
Brazil 38
Indonesia 38
Lesotho 38
Serbia 38
Turkey 38
Gambia 37
Kazakhstan 37
Sri Lanka 37
Cote d’Ivoire 36
Ecuador 36
Moldova 36
Panama 36
Peru 36
Albania 35
Bosnia and Herzegovina 35
Malawi 35
Mongolia 35
Thailand 35
El Salvador 34
Sierra Leone 34
Algeria 33
Egypt 33
Nepal 33
Philippines 33
Zambia 33
Eswatini 32
Ukraine 32
Gabon 31
Mexico 31
Niger 31
Papua New Guinea 31
Azerbaijan 30
Bolivia 30
Djibouti 30
Dominican Republic 30
Kenya 30
Laos 30
Paraguay 30
Togo 30
Angola 29
Liberia 29
Mali 29
Russia 29
Mauritania 28
Myanmar 28
Pakistan 28
Uzbekistan 28
Cameroon 27
Kyrgyzstan 27
Uganda 27
Bangladesh 26
Madagascar 26
Mozambique 26
Guatemala 25
Guinea 25
Iran 25
Tajikistan 25
Central African Republic 24
Lebanon 24
Nigeria 24
Cambodia 23
Honduras 23
Iraq 23
Zimbabwe 23
Eritrea 22
Congo 21
Guinea-Bissau 21
Chad 20
Comoros 20
Haiti 20
Nicaragua 20
Sudan 20
Burundi 19
Democratic Republic of the Congo 19
Turkmenistan 19
Equatorial Guinea 17
Libya 17
Afghanistan 16
North Korea 16
Yemen 16
Venezuela 14
Somalia 13
Syria 13
South Sudan 11

Ranking at the top of the index with scores of 88 are Nordic countries Denmark and Finland, as well as New Zealand.

They’ve consistently topped the CPI over the last decade, and Europe in general had 14 of the top 20 least corrupt countries. Asia also had many notable entrants, including Singapore (tied for #4), Hong Kong (#12), and Japan (tied for #18).

Comparatively, the Americas only had two countries score in the top 20 least corrupt: Canada (tied for #13) and Uruguay (tied for #18). With a score of 67, the U.S. scored at #28 just behind Bhutan, the UAE, and France.

Scoring towards the bottom of the index were many countries currently and historically going through conflict, primarily located in the Middle East and Africa. They include Afghanistan, Venezuela, Somalia, and South Sudan. The latter country finishes at the very bottom of the list, with a score of just 11.

How Corruption in Countries Has Changed (2012–2021)

Corruption is a constant and moving global problem, so it’s also important to measure which countries have had their images improved (or worsened).

By using CPI scores dating back to 2012, we can examine how country scores have changed over the last decade:

Change in Corruption by Country 10-Year Trend (2012-2021)
Seychelles +18
Armenia +15
Italy +14
Greece +13
Myanmar +13
Guyana +11
Uzbekistan +11
Estonia +10
Latvia +10
Belarus +10
Saudi Arabia +9
Kazakhstan +9
Laos +9
Timor-Leste +8
Vietnam +8
Afghanistan +8
North Korea +8
Taiwan +7
Lithuania +7
Senegal +7
Cote d’Ivoire +7
Angola +7
Sudan +7
South Korea +6
Slovakia +6
China +6
Jamaica +6
Benin +6
Ethiopia +6
Indonesia +6
Nepal +6
Ukraine +6
Papua New Guinea +6
Austria +5
Ireland +5
Bhutan +5
Czechia +5
Oman +5
Montenegro +5
Kosovo +5
Paraguay +5
Iraq +5
Somalia +5
United Kingdom +4
Costa Rica +4
Burkina Faso +4
India +4
Tanzania +4
Ecuador +4
Georgia +3
Sao Tome and Principe +3
Tunisia +3
Colombia +3
Argentina +3
Gambia +3
Sierra Leone +3
Azerbaijan +3
Kenya +3
Kyrgyzstan +3
Tajikistan +3
Zimbabwe +3
Trinidad and Tobago +2
Morocco +2
Suriname +2
Albania +2
Turkmenistan +2
Luxembourg +1
Germany +1
Uruguay +1
United Arab Emirates +1
Jordan +1
Namibia +1
Croatia +1
Romania +1
South Africa +1
Bulgaria +1
Egypt +1
Russia +1
Pakistan +1
Cameroon +1
Guinea +1
Cambodia +1
Haiti +1
Chad +1
Norway 0
France 0
Rwanda 0
Moldova 0
Togo 0
Bangladesh 0
Burundi 0
Hong Kong -1
Japan -1
Portugal -1
Israel -1
Malaysia -1
Kuwait -1
Serbia -1
Mongolia -1
Algeria -1
Philippines -1
Denmark -2
Finland -2
New Zealand -2
Singapore -2
Switzerland -2
Netherlands -2
Belgium -2
Cabo Verde -2
Poland -2
Cuba -2
Ghana -2
Panama -2
Peru -2
Malawi -2
Thailand -2
Niger -2
Dominican Republic -2
Uganda -2
Central African Republic -2
Democratic Republic of the Congo -2
Sweden -3
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines -3
Dominica -3
Malta -3
Mauritius -3
Sri Lanka -3
Mexico -3
Mauritania -3
Iran -3
Nigeria -3
Eritrea -3
Equatorial Guinea -3
Spain -4
Slovenia -4
North Macedonia -4
El Salvador -4
Zambia -4
Gabon -4
Bolivia -4
Guinea-Bissau -4
Libya -4
Chile -5
Qatar -5
Brazil -5
Eswatini -5
Mali -5
Mozambique -5
Honduras -5
Congo -5
Venezuela -5
United States of America -6
Djibouti -6
Madagascar -6
Lebanon -6
Bahamas -7
Lesotho -7
Bosnia and Herzegovina -7
Yemen -7
Iceland -8
Guatemala -8
Comoros -8
Bahrain -9
Nicaragua -9
Canada -10
Botswana -10
Barbados -11
Turkey -11
Australia -12
Hungary -12
Liberia -12
Cyprus -13
Syria -13
Saint Lucia -15
Fiji N/A
Grenada N/A
Vanuatu N/A
Solomon Islands N/A
Maldives N/A
South Sudan N/A

The biggest climber with +18 was Seychelles, Africa’s smallest country and also its least corrupt with a score of 70. Other notable improvements include neighboring countries Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus, with Estonia rising into the top 15 least corrupt countries.

On the opposite side, both Australia (-12) and Canada (-10) have actually fallen out of the top 10 least corrupt countries over the last decade. They’re joined by decreases in Hungary (-12) and Syria (-13), which is now ranked as the world’s second-most corrupt country.

Which countries will rise and fall in corruption perceptions over the next 10 years, and how do your perceptions compare with this list?

The post Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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