Not all governments are looking out for the best interests of their citizens. Many countries have been caught up in political scandals and corruption. Some have even had such a history of corruption that it has caused political unrest against its citizens.
While there isn’t a surefire way to measure corruption within a nation, data can be used to rank countries that are seen as the most corrupt. For instance, the Corruption Perceptions Index, which was initially launched in 1995, uses expert assessments and opinion surveys to determine how corrupt a country is. The CPI defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit.”
Through this report, 180 countries are ranked on a scale from 0 to 100. The lower the score, the more corrupt a country is perceived to be.
As of October 2018, the 2017 report was the latest to be released. It was released on February 21, 2018. This survey reports that Somalia is the most corrupt country in the world, receiving a score of just 9 out of 100.
South Sudan isn’t too far behind. It is the second-most corrupt country in the world with a score of 12 out of 100. Rounding out the top three is Syria, with a score of 14 out of 100.
The top 10 most corrupt countries according to the CPI are:
- Somalia (Corruption Perception Index Score: 9)
- South Sudan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 12)
- Syria (Corruption Perception Index Score: 13)
- Yemen (Corruption Perception Index Score: 15)
- Afghanistan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
- Equatorial Guinea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
- Sudan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
- Venezuela (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
- North Korea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 17)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (Corruption Perception Index Score: 18)
- However, there are other surveys available that provide different rankings. The 2018 Best Countries rankings from U.S. News and World Report takes a look at survey data from over 21,000 citizens. Eighty countries are featured on this list. This survey shows that Nigeria is seen as the most corrupt nation. Colombia and Pakistan round out the top three.
The top 10 most corrupt nations, according to the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings, are:
On the other hand, the least corrupt countries are New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Finland