Which countries have the highest perceived corruption?
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Recently, Transparency International released their 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index. The Index ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
For the tenth year in a row, the global average remains unchanged at 43.
The index covers the following manifestations of public sector corruption:
- Diversion of public funds
- Officials using their public office for private gain without facing consequences
- Ability of governments to contain corruption in the public sector
- Excessive red tape in the public sector which may increase opportunities for corruption
- Nepotistic appointments in the civil service
- Laws ensuring that public officials must disclose their finances and potential conflicts of interest
- Legal protection for people who report cases of bribery and corruption
- State capture by narrow vested interests
- Access to information on public affairs/government activities
As corruption entails illegal and deliberately hidden activities, it is very difficult to measure it based on hard statistics. Therefore, perceptions are a more reliable measurement for corruption.
The perceived corruption is the highest in most of Africa, the Middle East and Central America. The top 10 most corrupt countries consists mostly of African countries, with South Sudan at the top with a score of 11 out of 100. Somalia and Syria come in second with a score of 13.
The least corrupt countries are mostly located in Europe. With also some high scoring countries in Asia and the Pacific. Three countries top the list: Denmark, Finland and New Zealand with a score of 88.