Public-sector corruption is still a major problem around the world but more countries are improving than worsening and the United States and United Kingdom have reached their best rankings ever according to recent findings.
The Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Denmark as the least corrupt nation for the second consecutive year. It scored 91 points out of a possible 100 while North Korea and Somalia remained at the bottom with unchanged scores of 8. Canada moved up to ninth spot with 83 points after placing 10th in last year’s rankings with 81 points.
Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries studied scored below 50 and the global average was 43. Transparency said it was a good sign that 64 countries improved their score while only 53 declined. The rest were unchanged.
The index is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, looking at a range of factors like whether governmental leaders are held to account or go unpunished for corruption, the perceived prevalence of bribery, and whether public institutions respond to citizens’ needs.
Transparency noted that in places like Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana, citizen activists have “worked hard to drive out the corrupt.”
“The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a problem around the world,” said Transparency head Jose Ugaz. “But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption — people across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption.”
Top 10 least corrupt countries:
- New Zealand
- Germany, Luxembourg, United Kingdom
Top 10 most corrupt countries:
- Somalia, North Korea
- South Sudan, Angola
- Libya, Iraq
- Venezuela, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti
- Yemen, Turkmenistan, Syria, Eritrea
- Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Burundi
- Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad
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