More than six billion members of the earth's seven billion population live in a country with a serious corruption problem. From rigged elections to bribery, unethical dealings run rife in some of the world’s most prominent nations. Using the latest data from Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) analyzing public sector corruption - Below are the world’s least and most corrupt places, largely outweighed by the mid-level corrupt group (26% to 77%)
Denmark – the least corrupt country
9% Corrupt For the fourth year in a row, Denmark is revealed as the least corrupt country in the world. It’s consistently applauded for demanding transparency within its government and increased corporate responsibility.
10% Corrupt Proving its diligence in maintaining a corruption-free country, Finland have moved up the rankings this year to second place. This is due to strong anti-corruption framework implemented by the government.
11% Corrupt Sweden is known for its effective anti-corruption laws with many government agencies characterized by a high degree of transparency.
12% Corrupt New Zealand has fallen three places in the last year from 9%. This is likely due to a serious of government controversies that have seen the perceived integrity of the country slip slightly. Despite this, the nation remain largely corruption free.
13% Corrupt Corruption cases in any form are almost unheard of in Norway. What’s more both companies and individuals can be prosecuted for corruption offences committed abroad.
13% Corrupt Improving four points from last year, the Netherlands has an independent judiciary and strong anti-corruption legislation.
14% Corrupt The Swiss don’t have the best opinion of their political parties with many believing them to be corrupt. However, that isn’t reflected in the Transparency International rankings with the country maintaining the same score for two years in a row.
15% Corrupt Despite many of its neighboring countries ranking poorly, Singapore comes in the top 10 least corrupt countries. The nation’s harsh penalties are seemingly a very strong deterrent.
17% Corrupt Canada’s CPI jumped two points this year with the nation making more of an effort to enforce anti-bribery sanctions in an effort to stop misdealings within companies and officials.
19% Corrupt The United Kingdom improved three places in this year’s report from 21% in 2015. The report praised the UK for cracking down on government corruption, following a major exposure of politicians’ expenses.
19% Corrupt The population of Luxembourg don’t have the best perception of their political parties, with many claiming they’re corrupt. Despite this Transparency International still believes corruption is low with then nation only dropping one point from the previous year’s report.
19% Corrupt With a strong legal system and anti-corruption laws, Germany sits high in the CPI rankings. However, allegations of corruption in the health, construction and public procurement sectors are keeping it from the very top.
21% Corrupt Although the nation suffered from the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis it still enjoys a low level of corruption. Nepotism in the political world has been cited as an area it needs to improve.
21% Corrupt Australia has one of the biggest changes of any other nation in the rankings, dropping from 15% since 2012. The report says a federal anti-corruption agency, anti-foreign bribery laws and political donations reform are required to boost the country’s failing ranking.
23% Corrupt Belgium enjoys relatively low levels of corruption in its political sector. The public’s trust in civil service and in the judiciary is also high. An area it still needs to improve is more protection for whistleblowers.
24% Corrupt A new entry to the 20 least corrupt countries is Austria. Jumping four points, the country’s perceived corruption levels not only remain low but continue to decrease.
24% Corrupt Once again the United States remains on the positive end of the rankings. This is largely thanks to extensive anti-corruption legislation.
25% Corrupt It might have dropped in its overall ranking but Ireland improved by one point in this year’s report. This is largely due to new whistleblower protection and lobbying regulations to help prevent political corruption.
25% Corrupt After slowly declining in the rankings over the last three years, Hong Kong is finally moving in the right direction, gaining one point. The reason? A few big corruption cases have finally settled and the perception of a truthful government remains strong.
25% Corrupt score: 75 out of 100, where 100 equals no corruption. The Japanese are fortunate to live a life relatively free of corruption in both the economic and political sphere. However, the county is let down by a practice called “amakudari” where senior politicians retire to executive or high-profile positions within the corporate realm, in particular the pharmaceutical, transportation, and construction sectors.
78% Corrupt A long period of suppression by the country’s military has meant Myanmar has consistently appeared on indexes such as this one. However, with a change to a more democratic government in 2016 the country may well drop off the list for good.
79% Corrupt Since becoming a republic in 1966, this East African nation has seen high levels of corruption. The main culprits are the regional police, revenue authorities and the judiciary system. Recently the United Nations was denied access to the country to investigate reports of human rights abuses.
79% Corrupt Cambodia has had a long line of corrupt political figures tarnishing its government. Prime Minister Hun See has been in power for three decades, with reports of political and business leaders exploiting the country’s finances for personal profit rife.
79% Corrupt Corruption is embedded deep within Zimbabwe’s political, private and civil sectors. The government, run for three decades by President Robert Mugabe, is constantly fighting claims of bribery and lost funds. And while its economy remains in deep crisis much of the population face high levels of poverty and unemployment.
81% Corrupt Uzbekistan’s corruption ranking stems from President Islam Karimov, whose Communist Party rules the nation with a ruthless authoritarian approach, making the political system ripe for bribery and personal gain.
82% Corrupt Eritrea has long been marred by severe corruption. The nation has undeveloped legal, economic and political policies in place and no independent press. The nation’s people face poverty and have few human rights.
82% Corrupt Already accused as being one of the most corrupt countries in the Middle East, Syria is struggling to uphold any form of government in the face of attack from groups like ISIS and the nation’s Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra.
82% Corrupt Boarded by Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan is surrounded by a host of volatile nations. It is fortunate enough to have vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas to supplement the economy, but misuse of state revenues by the government has driven away investors.
82% Corrupt In recent years Yemen, bordered by Saudi Arabia and Oman, has become a popular base for militant groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State, only adding to the country’s instability and corruption. Political exploitation continues to cripple the nation’s economy.
83% Corrupt This Caribbean country has a long history of corruption with dubious dealings and crime rife in the country’s towns and cities. Unfortunately, the government isn’t much better, with the recent election for a new president marred by violent protests and accusations of fraud from presidential candidates.
83% Corrupt Located on West Africa’s Atlantic coast this small country is riddled with crooked dealings. A major hub for cocaine smugglers from Latin America to Europe, several senior military figures are alleged to be involved in the trafficking of narcotics.
83% Corrupt Venezuela once again finds itself sitting at the wrong end of the list due to its corrupt government. But in good news for the country, for the first time in 16 years an opposition coalition won an overwhelming victory to reform the government. Its first order of business – release dozens of politicians and activists jailed under the former President Maduro and demand transparent inflation figures.
84% Corrupt The country continues to struggle to contain the growing power of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL). Maintaining a strong and stable government remains this country’s biggest challenge with institutional reforms constantly delayed, as well as ongoing political infighting and deep-rooted corruption.
84% Corrupt Despite the death of disgraced former president Muammar Gaddafi, Libya remains in turmoil. Political parties are backed by rival militia groups and continue to fight for power, leaving the country open to human trafficking, arms dealers and a corrupt military.
85% Corrupt The African nation that borders Namibia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo can thank years of widespread government corruption and devastating poverty for its ranking. In Angola, 70% of the population live on $2 (£1.40) a day or less. One in six children die before the age of five, making it the deadliest place in the world to be a child.
85% Corrupt According to the United Nations war-ravaged South Sudan is facing possible famine. Two years of civil war, which has claimed the lives of four million people, has prevented deliveries of human aid and constant fighting between the government and rebel forces have left the nation open to extreme corruption.
88% Corrupt After two rounds of devastating civil war, which claimed the lives of over 1.5 million people, Sudan has struggled to find its feet in the face of corruption. As a result of a failing government, approximately 65% of the country’s people live below the poverty line.
89% Corrupt Landlocked Afghanistan lies in the middle of a hotbed of corruption and conflict. Despite having an internationally recognized government set up in 2004, it continues to lack the power to implement any sustainable changes due to unrelenting challenges from the Taliban.
North Korea – joint most corrupt country
92% Corrupt Once again North Korea finds itself joint first on the list. Ruled by the autocratic Kim Jong-Un, the country is the epitome of a dictatorship with its government dealings shrouded in mystery. Military spending outweighs that of social aid with the totalitarian state consistently accused of abusing basic human rights.
Somalia – joint most corrupt country
92% Corrupt For the fourth year in a row Somalia retains its title as the world’s most corrupt nation. Torn apart by rival warlords in the early 90s, the frail government has since failed to make any long-term improvements to the nation, and face constant challenges from Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabab insurgents.