Transparency International provides an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.
The index uses a scale of 0-100, where 0 signifies a perception that a country is highly corrupt, and 100 signifies that a country is perceived as ‘highly clean’.
What is the average corruption perception around the world?
More than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 on the 2018 CPI, with an average score of just 43.
The data shows that despite some progress, most countries are failing to make significant progress in combating corruption.
How is Australia perceived?
In the 2018 CPI, Australia received a score of 77/100, ranking as having the 13th lowest level of perceived corruption compared to the other countries in the Index.
While this may be viewed as a ‘good score’, one element of concern is the fact that Australia achieved a score of 79 in 2015 and 2016, which dropped to 77 in 2017.
This does however appear to be part of a global trend towards a slightly increased perception of corruption amongst the top ranking countries, with some exceptions, such as Estonia.
Which countries were perceived as the ‘least corrupt’?
The below table shows the best performing countries in the 2018 CPI, indicating their scores from 2015-2018.
|1||Denmark||Western Europe & European Union||88||88||90||91|
|2||New Zealand||Asia Pacific||87||89||90||91|
|3||Finland||Western Europe & European Union||85||85||89||90|
|3||Sweden||Western Europe & European Union||85||84||88||89|
|3||Switzerland||Western Europe & European Union||85||85||86||86|
|7||Norway||Western Europe & European Union||84||85||85||88|
|8||Netherlands||Western Europe & European Union||82||82||83||84|
|9||Luxembourg||Western Europe & European Union||81||82||81||85|
|11||Germany||Western Europe & European Union||80||81||81||81|
|11||United Kingdom||Western Europe & European Union||80||82||81||81|
|14||Austria||Western Europe & European Union||76||75||75||76|
|14||Hong Kong||Asia Pacific||76||77||77||75|
|14||Iceland||Western Europe & European Union||76||77||78||79|
|17||Belgium||Western Europe & European Union||75||75||77||77|
|18||Estonia||Western Europe & European Union||73||71||70||70|
|18||Ireland||Western Europe & European Union||73||74||73||75|
Which countries were perceived as the ‘most corrupt’?
The below table shows the poorest performing countries in the 2018 CPI, indicating their scores from 2015-2018.
|161||Democratic Republic of the Congo||Sub-Saharan Africa||20||21||21||22|
|161||Turkmenistan||Eastern Europe & Central Asia||20||19||22||18|
|168||Iraq||Middle East & North Africa||18||18||17||16|
|170||Libya||Middle East & North Africa||17||17||14||16|
|172||Equatorial Guinea||Sub-Saharan Africa||16||17||N/A||N/A|
|172||Guinea Bissau||Sub-Saharan Africa||16||17||16||17|
|176||Korea, North||Asia Pacific||14||17||12||8|
|176||Yemen||Middle East & North Africa||14||16||14||18|
|178||South Sudan||Sub-Saharan Africa||13||12||11||15|
|178||Syria||Middle East & North Africa||13||14||13||18|
Some key additional insights were presented based on the 2018 data:
- There is a disturbing link between corruption and the health of democracies, where countries with higher rates of corruption also have weaker democratic institutions and political rights.
- In the last seven years, only 20 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Estonia, Senegal, Guyana and Côte D’Ivoire.
- 16 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Australia, Chile, Malta, Hungary and Turkey.
Further information can be found on the Transparency International website.