• 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)
    Country / TerritoryISO3RegionCPI score 2021Rank
    DenmarkDNKWE/EU881
    FinlandFINWE/EU881
    New ZealandNZLAP881
    NorwayNORWE/EU854
    SingaporeSGPAP854
    SwedenSWEWE/EU854
    SwitzerlandCHEWE/EU847
    NetherlandsNLDWE/EU828
    LuxembourgLUXWE/EU819
    GermanyDEUWE/EU8010
    United KingdomGBRWE/EU7811
    Hong KongHKGAP7612
    CanadaCANAME7413
    IcelandISLWE/EU7413
    IrelandIRLWE/EU7413
    EstoniaESTWE/EU7413
    AustriaAUTWE/EU7413
    AustraliaAUSAP7318
    BelgiumBELWE/EU7318
    JapanJPNAP7318
    UruguayURYAME7318
    FranceFRAWE/EU7122
    SeychellesSYCSSA7023
    United Arab EmiratesAREMENA6924
    BhutanBTNAP6825
    TaiwanTWNAP6825
    ChileCHLAME6727
    United States of AmericaUSAAME6727
    BarbadosBRBAME6529
    BahamasBHSAME6430
    QatarQATMENA6331
    Korea, SouthKORAP6232
    PortugalPRTWE/EU6232
    LithuaniaLTUWE/EU6134
    SpainESPWE/EU6134
    IsraelISRMENA5936
    LatviaLVAWE/EU5936
    Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesVCTAME5936
    Cabo VerdeCPVSSA5839
    Costa RicaCRIAME5839
    SloveniaSVNWE/EU5741
    ItalyITAWE/EU5642
    PolandPOLWE/EU5642
    Saint LuciaLCAAME5642
    BotswanaBWASSA5545
    DominicaDMAAME5545
    FijiFJIAP5545
    GeorgiaGEOECA5545
    CzechiaCZEWE/EU5449
    MaltaMLTWE/EU5449
    MauritiusMUSSSA5449
    GrenadaGRDAME5352
    CyprusCYPWE/EU5352
    RwandaRWASSA5352
    Saudi ArabiaSAUMENA5352
    OmanOMNMENA5256
    SlovakiaSVKWE/EU5256
    ArmeniaARMECA4958
    GreeceGRCWE/EU4958
    JordanJORMENA4958
    NamibiaNAMSSA4958
    MalaysiaMYSAP4862
    CroatiaHRVWE/EU4763
    CubaCUBAME4664
    MontenegroMNEECA4664
    ChinaCHNAP4566
    RomaniaROUWE/EU4566
    Sao Tome and PrincipeSTPSSA4566
    VanuatuVUTAP4566
    JamaicaJAMAME4470
    South AfricaZAFSSA4470
    TunisiaTUNMENA4470
    GhanaGHASSA4373
    HungaryHUNWE/EU4373
    KuwaitKWTMENA4373
    SenegalSENSSA4373
    Solomon IslandsSLBAP4373
    BahrainBHRMENA4278
    BeninBENSSA4278
    Burkina FasoBFASSA4278
    BulgariaBGRWE/EU4278
    Timor-LesteTLSAP4182
    BelarusBLRECA4182
    Trinidad and TobagoTTOAME4182
    IndiaINDAP4085
    MaldivesMDVAP4085
    KosovoKSVECA3987
    ColombiaCOLAME3987
    EthiopiaETHSSA3987
    GuyanaGUYAME3987
    MoroccoMARMENA3987
    North MacedoniaMKDECA3987
    SurinameSURAME3987
    TanzaniaTZASSA3987
    VietnamVNMAP3987
    ArgentinaARGAME3896
    BrazilBRAAME3896
    IndonesiaIDNAP3896
    LesothoLSOSSA3896
    SerbiaSRBECA3896
    TurkeyTURECA3896
    GambiaGMBSSA37102
    KazakhstanKAZECA37102
    Sri LankaLKAAP37102
    Cote d’IvoireCIVSSA36105
    EcuadorECUAME36105
    MoldovaMDAECA36105
    PanamaPANAME36105
    PeruPERAME36105
    AlbaniaALBECA35110
    Bosnia and HerzegovinaBIHECA35110
    MalawiMWISSA35110
    MongoliaMNGAP35110
    ThailandTHAAP35110
    El SalvadorSLVAME34115
    Sierra LeoneSLESSA34115
    EgyptEGYMENA33117
    NepalNPLAP33117
    PhilippinesPHLAP33117
    ZambiaZMBSSA33117
    AlgeriaDZAMENA33117
    EswatiniSWZSSA32122
    UkraineUKRECA32122
    GabonGABSSA31124
    MexicoMEXAME31124
    NigerNERSSA31124
    Papua New GuineaPNGAP31124
    AzerbaijanAZEECA30128
    BoliviaBOLAME30128
    DjiboutiDJISSA30128
    Dominican RepublicDOMAME30128
    LaosLAOAP30128
    ParaguayPRYAME30128
    TogoTGOSSA30128
    KenyaKENSSA30128
    AngolaAGOSSA29136
    LiberiaLBRSSA29136
    MaliMLISSA29136
    RussiaRUSECA29136
    MauritaniaMRTSSA28140
    MyanmarMMRAP28140
    PakistanPAKAP28140
    UzbekistanUZBECA28140
    CameroonCMRSSA27144
    KyrgyzstanKGZECA27144
    UgandaUGASSA27144
    BangladeshBGDAP26147
    MadagascarMDGSSA26147
    MozambiqueMOZSSA26147
    GuatemalaGTMAME25150
    GuineaGINSSA25150
    IranIRNMENA25150
    TajikistanTJKECA25150
    LebanonLBNMENA24154
    NigeriaNGASSA24154
    Central African RepublicCAFSSA24154
    CambodiaKHMAP23157
    HondurasHNDAME23157
    IraqIRQMENA23157
    ZimbabweZWESSA23157
    EritreaERISSA22161
    CongoCOGSSA21162
    Guinea BissauGNBSSA21162
    ChadTCDSSA20164
    ComorosCOMSSA20164
    HaitiHTIAME20164
    NicaraguaNICAME20164
    SudanSDNSSA20164
    BurundiBDISSA19169
    Democratic Republic of the CongoCODSSA19169
    TurkmenistanTKMECA19169
    Equatorial GuineaGNQSSA17172
    LibyaLBYMENA17172
    AfghanistanAFGAP16174
    Korea, NorthPRKAP16174
    YemenYEMMENA16174
    VenezuelaVENAME14177
    SomaliaSOMSSA13178
    SyriaSYRMENA13178
    South SudanSSDSSA11180

    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.

    2012~2021 CPI changes
    Country / TerritoryISO3RegionCPI score 2021CPI score 2020Change since 2020CPI score 2017Change since 2017CPI Score 2012Change since 2012
    DenmarkDNKWE/EU8888088090-2
    New ZealandNZLAP8888089-190-2
    FinlandFINWE/EU8885385390-2
    SingaporeSGPAP8585084187-2
    SwedenSWEWE/EU8585084188-3
    NorwayNORWE/EU85841850850
    SwitzerlandCHEWE/EU8485-185-186-2
    NetherlandsNLDWE/EU8282082084-2
    LuxembourgLUXWE/EU8180182-1801
    GermanyDEUWE/EU8080081-1791
    United KingdomGBRWE/EU7877182-4744
    Hong KongHKGAP7677-177-177-1
    CanadaCANAME7477-382-884-10
    AustriaAUTWE/EU7476-275-1695
    EstoniaESTWE/EU7475-17136410
    IcelandISLWE/EU7475-177-382-8
    IrelandIRLWE/EU74722740695
    AustraliaAUSAP7377-477-485-12
    BelgiumBELWE/EU7376-375-275-2
    JapanJPNAP7374-173074-1
    UruguayURYAME73712703721
    FranceFRAWE/EU71692701710
    SeychellesSYCSSA7066460105218
    United Arab EmiratesAREMENA6971-271-2681
    BhutanBTNAP68680671635
    TaiwanTWNAP68653635617
    ChileCHLAME6767067072-5
    United States of AmericaUSAAME6767075-873-6
    BarbadosBRBAME6564168-376-11
    BahamasBHSAME6463165-171-7
    QatarQATMENA6363063068-5
    Korea, SouthKORAP62611548566
    PortugalPRTWE/EU6261163-163-1
    SpainESPWE/EU6162-157465-4
    LithuaniaLTUWE/EU61601592547
    IsraelISRMENA5960-162-360-1
    Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesVCTAME5959058162-3
    LatviaLVAWE/EU595725814910
    Cabo VerdeCPVSSA5858055360-2
    Costa RicaCRIAME5857159-1544
    SloveniaSVNWE/EU5760-361-461-4
    PolandPOLWE/EU5656060-458-2
    Saint LuciaLCAAME5656055171-15
    ItalyITAWE/EU565335064214
    FijiFJIAP55---
    BotswanaBWASSA5560-561-665-10
    GeorgiaGEOECA5556-156-1523
    DominicaDMAAME5555057-258-3
    CzechiaCZEWE/EU5454057-3495
    MaltaMLTWE/EU5453156-257-3
    MauritiusMUSSSA5453150457-3
    CyprusCYPWE/EU5357-457-466-13
    RwandaRWASSA5354-155-2530
    GrenadaGRDAME53530521-
    Saudi ArabiaSAUMENA53530494449
    OmanOMNMENA5254-2448475
    SlovakiaSVKWE/EU52493502466
    NamibiaNAMSSA4951-251-2481
    GreeceGRCWE/EU4950-14813613
    ArmeniaARMECA4949035143415
    JordanJORMENA49490481481
    MalaysiaMYSAP4851-347149-1
    CroatiaHRVWE/EU4747049-2461
    CubaCUBAME4647-147-148-2
    MontenegroMNEECA46451460415
    Sao Tome and PrincipeSTPSSA4547-246-1423
    RomaniaROUWE/EU4544148-3441
    VanuatuVUTAP45432432-
    ChinaCHNAP45423414396
    JamaicaJAMAME44440440386
    South AfricaZAFSSA44440431431
    TunisiaTUNMENA44440422413
    SenegalSENSSA4345-245-2367
    HungaryHUNWE/EU4344-145-255-12
    GhanaGHASSA4343040345-2
    KuwaitKWTMENA4342139444-1
    Solomon IslandsSLBAP43421394-
    BulgariaBGRWE/EU4244-243-1411
    BahrainBHRMENA4242036651-9
    BeninBENSSA42411393366
    Burkina FasoBFASSA42402420384
    BelarusBLRECA4147-644-33110
    Timor-LesteTLSAP41401383338
    Trinidad and TobagoTTOAME41401410392
    MaldivesMDVAP4043-3337-
    IndiaINDAP40400400364
    GuyanaGUYAME3941-23812811
    MoroccoMARMENA3940-140-1372
    ColombiaCOLAME39390372363
    EthiopiaETHSSA39381354336
    SurinameSURAME3938141-2372
    TanzaniaTZASSA39381363354
    KosovoKSVECA39363390345
    VietnamVNMAP39363354318
    North MacedoniaMKDECA3935435443-4
    ArgentinaARGAME3842-439-1353
    LesothoLSOSSA3841-342-445-7
    TurkeyTURECA3840-240-249-11
    BrazilBRAAME3838037143-5
    SerbiaSRBECA3838041-339-1
    IndonesiaIDNAP38371371326
    KazakhstanKAZECA3738-1316289
    Sri LankaLKAAP3738-138-140-3
    GambiaGMBSSA37370307343
    EcuadorECUAME3639-3324324
    PeruPERAME3638-237-138-2
    Cote d’IvoireCIVSSA36360360297
    PanamaPANAME3635137-138-2
    MoldovaMDAECA36342315360
    AlbaniaALBECA3536-138-3332
    ThailandTHAAP3536-137-237-2
    Bosnia and HerzegovinaBIHECA3535038-342-7
    MongoliaMNGAP3535036-136-1
    MalawiMWISSA3530531437-2
    El SalvadorSLVAME3436-233138-4
    Sierra LeoneSLESSA34331304313
    AlgeriaDZAMENA3336-333034-1
    PhilippinesPHLAP3334-134-134-1
    EgyptEGYMENA33330321321
    NepalNPLAP33330312276
    ZambiaZMBSSA3333037-437-4
    EswatiniSWZSSA3233-139-737-5
    UkraineUKRECA3233-1302266
    NigerNERSSA3132-133-233-2
    MexicoMEXAME3131029234-3
    GabonGABSSA3130132-135-4
    Papua New GuineaPNGAP31274292256
    BoliviaBOLAME3031-133-334-4
    KenyaKENSSA3031-1282273
    AzerbaijanAZEECA3030031-1273
    LaosLAOAP30291291219
    TogoTGOSSA3029132-2300
    Dominican RepublicDOMAME3028229132-2
    ParaguayPRYAME30282291255
    DjiboutiDJISSA3027331-136-6
    MaliMLISSA2930-131-234-5
    RussiaRUSECA2930-1290281
    LiberiaLBRSSA2928131-241-12
    AngolaAGOSSA292721910227
    PakistanPAKAP2831-332-4271
    MauritaniaMRTSSA2829-128031-3
    MyanmarMMRAP2828030-21513
    UzbekistanUZBECA282622261711
    KyrgyzstanKGZECA2731-429-2243
    UgandaUGASSA2727026129-2
    CameroonCMRSSA27252252261
    BangladeshBGDAP2626028-2260
    MadagascarMDGSSA2625124232-6
    MozambiqueMOZSSA2625125131-5
    GuineaGINSSA2528-327-2241
    GuatemalaGTMAME2525028-333-8
    IranIRNMENA2525030-528-3
    TajikistanTJKECA25250214223
    Central African RepublicCAFSSA2426-223126-2
    LebanonLBNMENA2425-128-430-6
    NigeriaNGASSA2425-127-327-3
    HondurasHNDAME2324-129-628-5
    ZimbabweZWESSA2324-1221203
    CambodiaKHMAP23212212221
    IraqIRQMENA23212185185
    EritreaERISSA2221120225-3
    CongoCOGSSA2119221026-5
    Guinea BissauGNBSSA2119217425-4
    NicaraguaNICAME2022-226-629-9
    ChadTCDSSA2021-1200191
    ComorosCOMSSA2021-127-728-8
    HaitiHTIAME2018222-2191
    SudanSDNSSA20164164137
    BurundiBDISSA1919022-3190
    TurkmenistanTKMECA19190190172
    Democratic Republic of the CongoCODSSA1918121-221-2
    LibyaLBYMENA1717017021-4
    Equatorial GuineaGNQSSA1716117020-3
    AfghanistanAFGAP1619-315188
    Korea, NorthPRKAP1618-217-188
    YemenYEMMENA1615116023-7
    VenezuelaVENAME1415-118-419-5
    SyriaSYRMENA1314-114-126-13
    SomaliaSOMSSA131219485
    South SudanSSDSSA1112-112-1-

    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?

    Prev:
    Why Are Tax Forms So Complicated?
    Next:
    State of Global Democracy in 2022
    Table of Contents
    Table of Contents