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List of Most Corrupt Countries

Which Countries Are Most Corrupt? Not New Zealand, Denmark

Money could very well be the root of all evil — though in the latest study of corrupt countries, it's actually the lack of money that sparks trouble. The new report by Transparency International found that in two-fifths of the world's nations, corruption continues to intensify — a trend that can be traced to economic realities. In the countries found to be the most corrupt, 40 percent are classified by the World Bank as low income.

Transparency International's rankings range on a scale from 10 (on the up-and-up) to 1 (rampant corruption). How common is corruption? Of the 180 countries surveyed, 132 of them had scores below a 5. Other factors that contribute to a cloudy ethical picture are weak governments and conflict. The chairman of Transparency International says, "Countries torn apart by conflict pay a huge toll in their capacity to govern. With public institutions crippled or nonexistent, mercenary individuals help themselves to public resources, and corruption thrives."

Helsinki, Finland — the country tied for first as the least corrupt.

Haitians protest against kidnapping and violence. The country is the fourth most corrupt.

Novice Buddhist monks in Myanmar, tied for most corrupt country.

Soccer fans in Romania. The country improved from 69th place to 84th.

A boy sells water door-to-door in Somalia, tied for most corrupt. Pirates often seize aid shipments to the country.

Another troublesome mix? Weak government plus plentiful natural resources, like in Equatorial Guinea where 30 percent of the newly discovered oil profits go straight to government officials' wallets. To see which countries ranked where,


  • The Top Three Least Corrupt: New Zealand (pictured), Denmark (not corrupt and happy!) , and Finland win with scores of 9.4 out of 10. Wealth, stable economies, and a removal from international controversies keep them corruption-free.
  • The Two Most Corrupt: Somalia and Myanmar. With scores of 1.4 out of 10, the armed conflict, political oppression, and troubles from Mother Nature (Myanmar's horrific cyclone) and pirates (Somalia) corruption is undeniable.
  • Third and Fourth Place: Iraq and Haiti, respectively. Afghanistan comes in at #7.
  • Three Countries in Africa Who've Improved: Seychelles, South Africa, and Swaziland all made gains from six to 37 places.
  • Five Countries Out of Africa With Improvements: Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Romania, and Italy. Transparency International points to the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.

I don't know, but if Denmark keeps winning prizes for being great, they better expect a lot of visitors. What do you think is the biggest contributor to corruption?


Join The Conversation
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 8 years
i don't think there's really any other explanation for corruption besides greedy rich people wanting to stay rich no matter what. disgusting. i was surprised N. Korea wasn't on the list.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm surprised that no one has made any comments about America being so corrupt.
Meike Meike 8 years
Corruption mostly exists where there are no middle-class.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 8 years
I know Bella it was sarcasm.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
The poorest also have corruption (sometimes the governments are not the focus and people only focus on the victims): there are a lot of groups and governments in Africa that like to spread fear within their people. They usually keep all of the profits from the people, other governments, and any aid while invoking fear through killing and fear tactics.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 8 years
Having too ...:oy: Im so over this day.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 8 years
Funny I thought it was having two much money that led to corruption :ponder:
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 8 years
Thanks, Sy! Good to know. I'm going to Denmark on Friday(I hope). I may come home smiling!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Thanks for that clarification, syako! I still wanna go to Denmark, however! ;-)
syako syako 8 years
is this based on the 2007 corruption perception index numbers? I think it's good to note that these numbers are based on perceptions. (which is not to say they're invalidated, but good to know) the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. It is a composite index, a poll of polls, drawing on corruption-related data from expert and business surveys carried out by a variety of independent and reputable institutions. The CPI reflects views from around the world, including those of experts who are living in the countries evaluated. On another note, Russia scored 143 out of 179.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 8 years
Afghanistan comes in at #7. Wow, didn't see that coming!
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