Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. It has been present since the beginning of times, and still exists. No matter how rich or poor a nation is, corruption still runs through their system. It is very deep rooted in our society.

Although there is no permanent solution to this predicament, some countries have made it their mission to combat this disease and who couldn’t fight are in unfortunately in the list of poorest economies now.

So, without further ado, here is our list of top 10 least corrupted countries in the world 2020.

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Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

The Canadian government has pushed to suppress corruption in their country, and they have done a good job. The Canadian people enjoy their basic rights, freedom and liberty, along with a trust in their government.

However, there are still some problem areas. With no significant anti-bribery measures in place, almost 30% of business executives have claimed both bribery and corruption as issues.

Still Canada ranks above its North American neighbor – the United States.

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Luxembourg has relatively low corruption, but the public perception and a major distrust between the citizens and political parties are high. Almost 53% of people saw them as corrupt.

Business and political mingling is relatively high, with no code of conduct addressing the corrupt parties. Even so, corruption in Luxembourg is very low.

The Luxembourg has a score of 82 on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

The Netherlands – a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands ranks ninth on our list, with a score of 83 from the scale of Corruption Perceptions Index. Netherlands possesses an independent judiciary system.

And because of that, there is less corruption in the country at any given level.

And combine that with a culture of trust, social tolerance and effective anti-corruption measures makes the Netherlands one of the least corrupted countries in the world.

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Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Singapore is the only Asian country in the top ten.

Singapore resides in an area, where corruption is often taken for granted, but its strict measure and effective corruption measures results in very low corruption.

There is very little corruption in politics as well, with the country paying local political leaders reasonably high salaries so they will be content and will not be tempted to resort to corruption.

Singapore also employs an effective criminal system. The country is liberal, with citizens retaining the right of speech. Singapore posses a nice score of 84 in the Corruption Perceptions Index and is considered one of the least corrupted nations in the world.

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Switzerland is one of the oldest and continuously developing countries is also free of corruption. Switzerland devotes extra attention to bribery of public officials to discourage people from using it to get what they want. The country has made it a criminal offense to bribe a government official, both local and foreign.

Although, political parties are still considered by the public to be the most corrupt entities, public services and other sectors are considered free of corruption. Switzerland has a score of 86 on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Norway ties a score of 86 with Switzerland on the Corruption Perceptions Index. It comes at number 5th spot among the top 10 least corrupted countries in the world.

The Scandinavian country is dedicated in wiping out corruption from within. The Norwegians take pride in their legal framework and code of conduct.

Companies and even individuals can be prosecuted for corruption offenses committed abroad.

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Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Another Scandinavian country to make the top ten is Sweden. Coming in at number four, and rocking a score of 87 on the Corruption Perceptions Index. Sweden has a certain level of transparency.

The country makes sure that public officials are not engaged in any corruptive activity.

The country goes an extra step in being transparent as looking at the expense claims of public officials is completely legal and allowed.

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking

Top 10 Least Corrupt Countries In The World 2018

Corruption is one of the biggest threats in the world. Unfortunately, this threat is found in every country. This global issue establishes bad governance, stop development, and undermines the law.

Still, there are several countries where corruption is at a superficial level.

Here is the list of the ten least corrupt countries globally and their corruption perception index score (CPI) published by transparency international.

The CPI score ranges from 0 to 100. The CPI score of ‘0’ indicates a highly corrupt country, and a score of 100 signals a perfect country with an absence of corruption.

10 Germany, CPI : 80

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking The view on Hanover city, Germany.

According to Freedom House’s report, Germany’s ability is generally sufficient to ensure the integrity and prevent corruption in state bodies because of a robust institutional setup. Besides, Germany’s fraud and corruption risks are mainly prevalent in the construction and public procurement sectors. This one of the least corrupt countries offers robust institutional and legal anti-corruption frameworks.

The government prohibited facilitation payments. Additionally, they considered hospitality and small-value gifts might be illegal depending on the intent, benefit, and value. Moreover, foreign bribery enforcement has increased significantly in recent years, and the officials have successfully prosecuted a vast number of individuals and prominent German companies from businesses.

9 Luxembourg, CPI : 80

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking Old Town Luxembourg City from top view by day.

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Luxembourg is the richest and one of the smallest countries in the European Union. It is the only remaining sovereign Duchy in the world. Additionally, the low corruption rate is another great thing about Luxembourg. This country has a unitary parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy. Moreover, this country’s corruption level is generally shallow, and it offers a robust legal framework for combating corruption.

This one of the least corrupt countries effectively implemented anti-corruption laws.

Nonetheless, Luxembourg’s few corruption cases have revealed conflicts of interest between private and public sectors, tainting transparency.

The legal framework mainly criminalizes facilitation payments, bribery, gifts, and office abuse, among other offenses. Neither bribery nor facilitation payments is widespread in this country.

8 Netherlands, CPI : 82

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking Traditional old buildings in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has made a notable improvement in investigating and punishing foreign bribery, according to the OECD. Furthermore, it is again in the top ten of the least corrupt countries with a public sector corruption score of 82. Apart from the weather and the traffic jams, it is a pretty good place to live.

The Netherlands is ahead of its neighboring country Germany in 10th place, the United Kingdom in 12th place, and Belgium in 16th place. Additionally, people won’t face any bribery demands in their day-to-day life. Moreover, corruption in the Netherlands is rare in all significant areas, such as the judiciary, business, politics, and police.

7 Norway, CPI : 84

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk Ranking Stavanger, Norway city view with harbor and colorful traditional wooden houses.

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Additionally, the judiciary of Norway is entirely independent of the executive and legislative branches. Moreover, Norway also has strict and efficient anti-corruption legislation that maintains the high standard within Norway’s public sector. Norway has a shallow crime rate, and we can see a significant decline in crime in recent years.

Crime and Corruption Top Problems in Emerging and Developing Countries

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk RankingCrime and corruption, common scourges of modern societies, top the list of problems cited by publics in emerging and developing nations. A median of 83% of people across 34 emerging and developing economies say crime is a very big problem in their country, and 76% say the same about corrupt political leaders. Many also worry about issues such as health care, poor quality schools, water and air pollution, and food safety. Generally, electricity shortages and traffic are seen as less pressing issues.

People in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East all see crime and corruption as the greatest problems in their countries, according to the Pew Research Center survey.

Moreover, crime and corruption as well as poor quality schools are considered growing problems in these emerging and developing countries. Taking the median across the 20 countries surveyed in 2007/2008 and 2014, the number of people citing these three issues as a very big problem has jumped from 64% to 74% for crime, 63% to 73% for corruption and 38% to 51% for poor quality schools.

In nearly all these countries, the list of key challenges exist alongside economic problems including jobs, rising prices and public debt (see Global Public Downbeat about Economy, published September 9, 2014).

Top 10 Low Corruption Countries: Corruption Risk RankingWhen asked to rate key institutions in their countries, people generally assign high marks to the military, with a median of 79% saying it has a good influence on the way things are going in their country. But most major national organizations and groups, such as the media, religious leaders, banks, corporations, the national government and civil servants also get positive marks. Emerging and developing publics are less enamored with their court systems – the only institution polled which receives support from less than half of respondents.

Overall, there have been only slight changes in views of these national groups and institutions since 2007, but within a few countries there have been dramatic swings in opinion. For instance, in Turkey, where President Erdogan has made weakening the influence of the military on civilian government a top priority, support for the armed forces has sharply declined in the last seven years.

  • In the Middle East, a median of just 40% say that religious leaders are having a good influence on their country, and there has been a sharp loss of confidence in religious leaders among Jordanians, Turks, Egyptians and Palestinians since 2007, and among Tunisians in the last two years.


This entry presents available data and empirical evidence on corruption—an important problem imposing political, economic, and environmental costs on societies around the world.

Corruption is a phenomenon involving many different aspects, and it is therefore hard to give a precise and comprehensive definition.

However, at the core of most definitions of corruption is the idea that a corrupt act implies the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Classic examples include bribery, clientelism, and embezzlement.

Other, often more subtle and sometimes even legal examples of corruption include lobbying and patronage.

While long-run data on corruption is very limited, historical examples suggest that corruption has been a persistent feature of human societies over time and space. Two such examples are the sale of parliamentary seats in ‘rotten boroughs’ in England before the Reform Act of 1832, and ‘machine politics’ in the US at the turn of the 19th century (Aidt 2003).1

The unethical and often illegal nature of corruption makes measurement particularly complicated. Corruption data usually comes from either direct observation (e.g. law enforcement records and audit reports), or perception surveys (e.g. public opinion surveys, or expert assessments). In this entry we discuss data from both sources, and discuss their underlying limitations.

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As we show, although precise corruption measurement is difficult, there is a clear correlation between perception and behavior; so available corruption data does provide valuable information that, when interpreted carefully, can both tell us something important about our world as well as contribute to the development of effective policies.

For example, the data from perception surveys suggests that corruption correlates with human development, and a number of studies exploiting rich data from law enforcement records have shown that education is an important element explaining this relationship. Specifically, the data provides support for the idea that voters with more education tend to be more willing and able to monitor public employees and to take action when these employees violate the law.

The non-governmental organization Transparency International (TI) estimates a ‘Corruption Perception Index’, which is arguably the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide and shown in the map here.

The Corruption Perception Index scores countries on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means that a country is perceived as very clean.

The indicator is representative of expert opinion, as it is constructed by taking the averages of various standardized expert surveys, including those from the Bertelsmann Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, and many others.2

While TI’s Corruption Perception Index has been estimated since 1995, the methodology has been changed recurrently up until 2012. As such, the data presented here starts in 2012. You can explore country-specific trends by clicking on the ‘Chart’ tab, then clicking ‘ Add country ’ in the upper-right corner.

As we can see, the five countries with the highest scores (and thus perceived as most ‘clean’) are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore and Sweden. At the other extreme, the countries with the lowest scores (and highest perceived corruption) are Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and North Korea.

Over the time period 2012-2018, we can see that scores are fairly stable, and drastic changes in ranking are not very common. There are, however, some clear exceptions: Myanmar, for example, improved its score from 15 to 29 in the period 2012-2018 (which corresponds to a change in world ranking from 171 to 136); meanwhile, Bahrain’s score fell from 51 to 36.

Click to open interactive version

The data visualized here relies on the perception of experts (e.g. business people, country analysts, etc.). Now we analyze data representing the perceptions of everyday people confronting corruption around the world.

The Global Corruption Barometer, also produced by Transparency International, surveys individuals around the world, asking them about their opinions and experiences regarding corruption.

The visualization shows the average national perception of corruption, as rated on a scale of 1 to 5 by respondents asked the question: “To what extent do you think that corruption is a problem in the public sector in this country?”. The data is from 2013.

The map shows that everyday people’s perception of the problems associated with corruption correlate with expert opinion (seen in the previous section) about how much corruption there is. However, the correlation is far from perfect, indicating that these two indicators present us with different perspectives.

An important example is Sudan, which according to the Global Corruption Barometer has one of the lowest average ratings (meaning that average people do not consider corruption in the public sector to be a major problem).

This stands in stark contrast to expert opinion, which regards Sudan as having among the highest levels of public sector corruption.

The fact that the perception of experts and other citizens diverge is at the heart of perception measures: experts and non-experts have different reference points against which they assess whether corruption is a problem. Indeed, in countries where the public finds corruption extremely intolerable, the perception of its implications may be extreme, even if baseline corruption levels are lower than in other countries.

Corruption is sometimes hard to tackle precisely because it is common, so people perceive it to be a natural economic transaction: it is easier to act corruptly if there are many other individuals who think it is fine to be corrupt. This is the rationale behind ‘big-push’ policies that aim to shift norms and perceptions.

Click to open interactive version

The Global Corruption Barometer produced by Transparency International asks individuals across countries whether they perceive specific institutions to be corrupt. The chart presents, by institution, the global aggregate figures. The numbers correspond to the percentage of survey respondents who think that “Most” or “All” of each institution is corrupt in their home country.

The estimates show that, globally, people perceive domestic police forces and the legislature to be particularly corrupt. Detailed data by region, including survey answers for other institutions, are available from the corresponding Global Corruption Barometer Report.

Click to open interactive version

This visualization digs deeper into corruption perceptions, specifically in the context of politics.

The data is from the 2013 report – since this was broken down by country – and the map shows the percentage of survey respondents in each country who think that political parties are “corrupt or extremely corrupt”.

As we can see, there is substantial cross-country heterogeneity, and patterns again show differences with respect to general corruption perception. In Greece and Italy, for example, around 90% of survey respondents consider that political parties are very corrupt. This ranks them among the top-ten countries with the highest perception of political corruption.

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Click to open interactive version

Bribery is one of the most common forms of corruption. The following visualization shows the share of people who report having paid a bribe to access public services in the 12 months prior to the survey.

The data comes from the Global Corruption Barometer, produced by Transparency International, and the public services in question are: education; judiciary; medical and health; police; registry and permit services; utilities; tax revenue and/or customs; and land services.

Рейтинг стран мира по Индексу восприятия коррупции

Индекс восприятия коррупции (Corruption Perceptions Index) — это глобальное исследование и сопровождающий его рейтинг стран мира по показателю распространённости коррупции в государственном секторе. Рассчитывается по методике международной неправительственной организации Transparency International, основанной на комбинации общедоступных статистических данных и результатов глобального опроса.

В рамках индекса коррупция определяется как любые злоупотребления служебным положением в целях личной выгоды. Ориентацию на экспертные опросы инициаторы проекта объясняют тем, что при измерении коррупции статистические данные, например, число уголовных дел или судебных приговоров по фактам коррупции, как правило, «не работают».

Эти данные, во-первых, не всегда доступны, а во-вторых, отражают не столько реальный уровень коррупции, сколько эффективность работы правоохранительных органов по выявлению и пресечению фактов коррупции.

В этой ситуации единственным надёжным источником информации, по мнению исследователей, выступают мнения и свидетельства тех, кто непосредственно сталкивается с коррупцией (предприниматели) или профессионально занимается её изучением (аналитики).

Индекс восприятия коррупции представляет собой сводный индикатор, рассчитываемый на основе данных, полученных из экспертных источников, предоставленных международными организациями.

Все источники измеряют общую степень распространённости коррупции (частотность и/или объём взяток) в государственном и экономическом секторах и включают оценку множества стран.

Источники оценивают уровень восприятия коррупции экспертами, как живущими в конкретной стране, так и зарубежными, и представляют собой набор опросов предпринимателей, аналитиков по оценке коммерческих рисков и специалистов по конкретным странам из различных международных организаций.

Индекс ранжирует страны и территории по шкале от 0 (самый высокий уровень коррупции) до 100 (самый низкий уровень коррупции) на основе восприятия уровня коррумпированности государственного сектора.

В итоговом рейтинге, наряду с количеством баллов и рангом страны, приводятся также число источников, разница между наиболее высокими/низкими значениями индикаторов для каждой страны на основе соответствующих источников, величина стандартного отклонения и доверительный интервал по каждой стране, который позволяет сделать выводы о точности результатов Индекса для каждой страны.

Организация прилагает немало усилий к тому, чтобы обеспечить достоверность первичной информации, используемой для составления Индекса, и валидность итоговых результатов. Согласно установленным требованиям, для включения той или иной страны в индекс необходимо не менее трёх источников информации.

В целом, Индекс является относительно надёжным инструментом измерения, однако ему присущи и некоторые недостатки, свойственные экспертным исследованиям. Например, степень надёжности измерений одинакова не для всех стран.

Баллы Индекса и соответствующие им ранги стран, уровень коррупции в которых оценивается на основе относительно небольшого числа источников и которые характеризуются большим разбросом в оценках, могут в итоге оказаться не вполне адекватными.

Поскольку заметные изменения уровня коррупции происходят достаточно медленно, Индекс в основном содержит усреднённые данные, собранные за три последних года, то есть он даёт представление о текущих оценках уровня коррупции экспертами, почти не фокусируясь на происходящих из года в год сдвигах.

Поэтому исследование не всегда отражает реальную динамику, так как его колебания могут быть обусловлены корректировкой выборки, методологии и источников информации (при этом не все они обновляются на ежегодной основе), а место страны в общем списке может сильно измениться просто потому, что изменился список стран, включённых в рейтинг.

6 out of 10 top oil-producing countries are under serious corruption risk

Verisk In the wake of the recent FIFA scandal, a risk analysis company called Verisk Maplecroft has ranked 198 countries on their prevalence of bribery and corruption.

  • That ranking also looked at the top 10 oil-producing countries and found that six of them were under serious risk of corruption. 
  • The countries are divided into four risk categories: low, medium, high, and extreme.

Of the top 10 oil-producing countries, Russia, Iraq, Iran, and Mexico all fall into the “extreme risk” category. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait both fall into the “high risk category.”

Verisk Maplecroft identifies corruption as “one of the greatest above ground risks for oil, gas and mining companies.”

According to the World Bank corruption adds an estimated 10% to business costs globally, as Verisk notes. Annually, that equals to about $1 trillion paid in bribes.

Russia has seen corruption worsen over the last year, falling from 24th in the 2014 ranking to 10th in 2015. The already opaque Russian business environment has become even more secretive due to recent geopolitical issues such as the crisis in Eastern Ukraine and a deteriorating relationship with the US and Europe.

The two biggest economies in Asia — China and India — have also been branded as representing serious risks to investors. In March 2015, a former chairman of PetroChina Ltd., Asia’s biggest oil producer, was charged with abusing his position and taking bribes, which led to large losses of public money. His arrest was part of a spreading anti-corruption crackdown.

The UK based company categorized the United Arab Emirates at medium risk and Canada and the United States at a low risk. 

A general view shows oil treatment facilities at Vankorskoye oil field owned by Rosneft company north of the Russian Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk March 25, 2015. Reuters The $150 million FIFA corruption scandal, also reflects the start of a trend in which anti-corruption measures are becoming more wide-spread, Trevor Slack, legal and regulatory analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, said in a statement.

“Since the downturn, anti-corruption enforcement actions have definitely become more aggressive, particularly by the US, and legislation has become tougher,» he said. «Identifying geographical patterns in corruption and trends in the performance of countries should therefore be an imperative for business.»

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