Global Corruption Perceptions Index

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 “very clean”.

This article explores which countries are rated as the most and the least corrupt by Transparency International, and some of the key global trends which have been observed.


The results at a glance

The 2022 CPI shows that most countries are failing to stop corruption and bribery.

155 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, while 26 countries have fallen to their lowest scores yet.


Key trends

Transparency International observed several key trends throughout 2022 that have led to the continued perpetration of corruption including the harbouring of corrupt assets, tolerating enablers, and perpetuating impunity.


Harbouring corrupt assets

Financial secrecy presents a significant obstacle to fighting global corruption. For example, in a project to track down and catalogue the vast wealth held outside Russia by oligarchs and key figures close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, most information on the real owners of yachts, villas and private jets was obscured under layers of secrecy.


Tolerating enablers

Corrupt actors around the world often enlist the services of financial sector professionals in countries rated as the least corrupt, to facilitate their activities.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that in countries like the United States, certain financial service providers such as investment advisers, wealth managers, and trust and company formation agents escape regulation.


Perpetuating impunity

Perpetrators of corruption often enjoy impunity because authorities charged with identifying and sanctioning illicit wealth often do not have sufficient resources to do so.

Furthermore, many countries that performed well in the 2022 CPI were found to have neglected their international obligations to punish their national companies bribing officials abroad.


How is Australia perceived?

In the 2022 CPI, Australia received a score of 75/100, ranking as having the 13th lowest level of perceived corruption compared to the other countries in the Index.

While Australia’s score in the CPI has been decreasing since 2012 when it scored 85, the 2022 score marks a welcome increase of two points compared to 2021.


Which countries were perceived as the least corrupt?

The table below outlines the 20 top performing countries in the CPI, their score and rank, and whether their score has improved, declined, or remained unchanged compared to 2021.

Country Score Rank Score change
Denmark 90 1 Increased
Finland 87 2 Decreased
New Zealand 87 2 Decreased
Norway 84 4 Decreased
Singapore 83 5 Decreased
Sweden 83 5 Decreased
Switzerland 82 7 Decreased
Netherlands 80 8 Decreased
Germany 79 9 Decreased
Ireland 77 10 Increased
Luxembourg 77 10 Decreased
Hong Kong 76 12 Unchanged
Australia 75 13 Increased
Canada 74 14 Unchanged
Estonia 74 14 Unchanged
Iceland 74 14 Unchanged
Uruguay 74 14 Increased
Belgium 73 18 Unchanged
Japan 73 18 Unchanged
United Kingdom 73 18 Decreased


Which countries were perceived as the most corrupt?

The table below outlines the 20 countries with the lowest CPI scores and rankings.

Country Score Rank Score change
Somalia 12 180 Decreased
Syria 13 178 Unchanged
South Sudan 13 178 Increased
Venezuela 14 177 Unchanged
Yemen 16 176 Unchanged
Libya 17 171 Unchanged
North Korea 17 171 Increased
Haiti 17 171 Decreased
Equatorial Guinea 17 171 Unchanged
Burundi 17 171 Decreased
Turkmenistan 19 167 Unchanged
Nicaragua 19 167 Decreased
Comoros 19 167 Decreased
Chad 19 167 Decreased
Democratic Republic of the Congo 20 166 Increased
Guinea-Bissau 21 164 Unchanged
Congo 21 164 Unchanged
Sudan 22 162 Increased
Eritrea 22 162 Unchanged
Zimbabwe 23 157 Unchanged


Key takeaways

While Australia has improved its CPI score in 2022, the scores of most countries have remained unchanged or have declined since 2021. Key trends throughout 2022 that have led to the continued perpetration of corruption include the harbouring of corrupt assets, tolerating enablers, and perpetuating impunity.

Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in complex international bribery and corruption cases.

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