December 7th, 2011
Econintersect: Transparancy International has released it's corruption index for 183 countries around the globe. For western countries like the U.S., France and the UK there can be initial satisfaction from a ranking in the top 15%. Then there can be alarm at how far they are from the top of the index. For example, the U.S. ranks 24th but has an index of 7.1. It would take an improvement of 34% for the U.S. to match the score for the top-ranked country, New Zealand. If you go down the same 2.4 points to 4.7 index, the countries you find near that value include Rwanda, Costa Rica, Oman and Kuwait. So the U.S. corruption rating is as far below New Zealand as Rwanda is below the U.S.
Here are the top 19 rated countries:
Here are the 20 most populous countries:
Here is the press release from Transparency.org:
Berlin, 1 December 2011 – Corruption continues to plague too many countries around the world, according to Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index released today. It shows some governments failing to protect citizens from corruption, be it abuse of public resources, bribery or secretive decision-making.
Transparency International warned that protests around the world, often fueled by corruption and economic instability, clearly show citizens feel their leaders and public institutions are neither transparent nor accountable enough.
“This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2011: The results
The index scores 183 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean) based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. It uses data from 17 surveys that look at factors such as enforcement of anti-corruption laws, access to information and conflicts of interest.
Two thirds of ranked countries score less than 5.
New Zealand ranks first, followed by Finland and Denmark. Somalia and North Korea (included in the index for the first time), are last.
“2011 saw the movement for greater transparency take on irresistible momentum, as citizens around the world demand accountability from their governments. High-scoring countries show that over time efforts to improve transparency can, if sustained, be successful and benefit their people,” said Transparency International Managing Director, Cobus de Swardt.
Most Arab Spring countries rank in the lower half of the index, scoring below 4. Before the Arab Spring, a Transparency International report on the region warned that nepotism, bribery and patronage were so deeply engrained in daily life that even existing anti-corruption laws had little impact.
Eurozone countries suffering debt crises, partly because of public authorities’ failure to tackle the bribery and tax evasion that are key drivers of debt crisis, are among the lowest-scoring EU countries.
Source: Transparancy International
Hat tip to Russell Huntley.