Most corrupt countries in the world – ranked

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A global ranking of the most corrupt countries in the world, from the latest Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International.

A mosque in Syria, the world's joint-most corrupt country
Syria is the world’s joint-most corrupt country (Shutterstock)

The Corruption Perceptions Index, published by the non-profit organisation Transparency International, ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The report reveals that most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption over the last decade.

The latest report focused on the impact of corruption had on government responses to COVID-19. The report compared countries’ performance in the index to their annual investment in health care and the extent to which democratic norms and institutions were weakened during the pandemic. It showed that persistent corruption has undermined health care systems and caused democracy to decline during the pandemic.

“Covid-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage. The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge. But even those at the top of the CPI must urgently address their role in perpetuating corruption at home and abroad.”

– Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International

Most corrupt countries in the world

1. South Sudan
1. Somalia
3. Syria
4. Yemen
4. Venezuela
6. Sudan
6. Equatorial Guinea
8. Libya
9. North Korea
9. Haiti

Least corrupt countries in the world

1. Denmark
1. New Zealand
3. Finland
3. Singapore
3. Sweden
3. Switzerland
7. Norway
8. Netherlands
9. Germany
9. Luxembourg

Copenhagen in Denmark, the world's joint least corrupt country
Denmark is the joint least corrupt country (Shutterstock)

Key findings

  • The average score is 43/100.
  • Two-thirds of countries scored below 50.
  • Syria, Somalia and South Sudan are most corrupt countries in the world with 14, 12 and 12 points respectively
  • Denmark and New Zealand are the least corrupt countries in the world with 88 points.
  • Since 2012, 26 countries significantly have improved their CPI scores, including Ecuador (39), Greece (50), Guyana (41), Myanmar (28) and South Korea (61).
  • While 22 countries have significantly decreased their scores, including Bosnia & Herzegovina (35), Guatemala (25), Lebanon (25), Malawi (30), Malta (53) and Poland (56).
  • Continuing its downward trend, the USA (25th) recorded its worst score since 2012, with 67 points
  • The most corrupt region is Sub-Saharan Africa with an average score of 32.
  • The least corrupt region is Western Europe & European Union with an average score of 66.
  • New Zealand (1st), Singapore (4th) and Australia (11th) are the least corrupt countries in the Asia-Pacific; North Korea (170th), Afghanistan (165th) and Cambodia (160th) are the most.
  • Canada (11th), Uruguay (21st) and the USA (25th) are the least corrupt counties in the Americas; Venezuela (176th), Haiti (170th) and Nicaragua (159th) are the most.
A colour coded map of the most corrupt countries in the world
Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International/CC BY-4.0)

Corruption – complete ranking

The table below ranks 180 of the world’s countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.

Some countries may have been omitted due to insufficient data.

RankCountryScore
1Denmark88
1New Zealand88
3Finland85
3Singapore85
3Sweden85
3Switzerland85
7Norway84
8Netherlands82
9Germany80
9Luxembourg80
11Australia77
11Canada77
11Hong Kong77
11UK77
15Austria76
15Belgium76
17Estonia75
17Iceland75
19Japan74
20Ireland72
21UAE71
21Uruguay71
23France69
24Bhutan68

25Chile67
25USA67
27Seychelles66
28Taiwan65
29Barbados64
30Bahamas63
30Qatar63
32Spain62
33South Korea61
33Portugal61
35Botswana60
35Brunei Darussalam60
35Israel60
35Lithuania60
35Slovenia60
40St. Vincent & Gren.59
41Cabo Verde58
42Costa Rica57
42Cyprus57
42Latvia57
45Georgia56
45Poland56
45Saint Lucia56
48Dominica55
49Czechia54
49Oman54
49Rwanda54
52Grenada53
52Italy53
52Malta53
52Mauritius53
52Saudi Arabia53
57Malaysia51
57Namibia51
59Greece50
60Armenia49
60Jordan49
60Slovakia49
63Belarus47
63Croatia47
63Cuba47
63Sao Tome & Principe47
67Montenegro45
67Senegal45
69Bulgaria44
69Hungary44
69Jamaica44
69Romania44
69South Africa44
69Tunisia44
75Ghana43
75Maldives43
75Vanuatu43
78Argentina42
78Bahrain42
78China42
78Kuwait42
78Solomon Islands42
83Benin41
83Guyana41
83Lesotho41
86Burkina Faso40
86India40
86Morocco40
86Timor-Leste40
86Trinidad & Tobago40
86Turkey40
92Colombia39
92Ecuador39
94Brazil38
94Ethiopia38
94Kazakhstan38
94Peru38
94Serbia38
94Sri Lanka38
94Suriname38
94Tanzania38
102Gambia37
102Indonesia37
104Albania36
104Algeria36
104Ivory Coast36
104El Salvador36
104Kosovo36
104Thailand36
104Vietnam36
111Bosnia & Herz35
111Mongolia35
111North Macedonia35
111Panama35
115Moldova34
115Philippines34
117Egypt33
117Eswatini33
117Nepal33
117Sierra Leone33
117Ukraine33
117Zambia33
123Niger32
124Bolivia31
124Kenya31
124Kyrgyzstan31
124Mexico31
124Pakistan31
129Azerbaijan30
129Gabon30
129Malawi30
129Mali30
129Russia30
134Laos29
134Mauritania29
134Togo29
137Dominican Rep.28
137Guinea28
137Liberia28
137Myanmar28
137Paraguay28
142Angola27
142Djibouti27
142Papua new Guinea27
142Uganda27
146Bangladesh26
146Central African Republic26
146Uzbekistan26
149Cameroon25
149Guatemala25
149Iran25
149Lebanon25
149Madagascar25
149Mozambique25
149Nigeria25
149Tajikistan25
157Honduras24
157Zimbabwe24
159Nicaragua22
160Cambodia21
160Chad21
160Comoros21
160Eritrea21
160Iraq21
165Afghanistan19
165Burundi19
165Congo19
165Guinea Bissau19
165Turkmenistan19
170DR Congo18
170Haiti18
170North Korea18
173Libya17
174Equatorial Guinea16
174Sudan16
176Venezuela15
176Yemen15
178Syria14
179Somalia12
179South Sudan12

Source: Transparency International