New Zealand is the least corrupt nation
Transparency International released its 15th annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) – a measure of domestic, public sector corruption with New Zealand winning as the least corrupt country in the world. The United States ranked 19th.
The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index, drawing on 13 different expert and business surveys. Countries are scored from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption).
The top ten countries in order are: New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Australia, Canada and Iceland. Scores of at least 9.0 reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions. The top 5 countries scored at least 9.0.
Only 49 countries out of 180 (27%) had scores from 5.0 to 10.0. The report indicates that there is no region in the world where corruption does not exist. The general concern of the 2009 result is that corruption continues to lurk where opacity rules, where institutions still need strengthening and where governments have not implemented anti-corruption legal frameworks and that even highly industrialized countries still experience bribery.
Fragile, unstable states that are scarred by war and ongoing conflict linger at the bottom of the index. Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan and Iraq are the countries at the bottom.