Global Corruption Map


Transparency International has released their annual report on state corruption. Click on the above map for an interactive sort that reports the corruption index for each country moused over.

The bottom end of this scale are the usual suspects of late, Somalia, Myanmar, Sudan and Iraq. The upper echelon include New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore and Sweden. The US scored a rather lack luster 19th placing out of 180 countries measured, with a 7.5 out of 10 (ten being the best.) No doubt various comedies being played out in Chicago and South Carolina lent their weight accordingly.

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12 Responses to Global Corruption Map

  1. T. Greer says:

    I think an important aspect of this report should be noted — the Corruption Perceptions Index does not measure corruption. It measures the perceptions of corruption.

    Th index should be used as a tool in assessing a population’s confidence in their government. It has little utility beyond this role. That New Zealand ranked highest does not actually mean its government is the free of corruption – it simply means that New Zealnders perceive their government to be so. Likewise, the ranking of the United States does not reflect the actual level of corruption in the country, but the relatively high levels of distrust Americans have for the federal government.

  2. Curzon says:

    Don’t forget New Jersey!

    Is it really perception of corruption only? Most Singaporeans I speak to have a generally pessimistic view of corruption in their country, covering everything from press freedom to political freedom.

  3. Bill Petti says:

    I echo T. Greer’s comment that while their may be overlap, this only measures the perception of corruption. It stands to reason that there may be a tight fit between perception and reality here, but I am not convinced perception is the best proxy.

    I’ve wanted to explore the relationship between actual corruption and economic development. We tend to think that there is a linear, inverse relationship between the two (i.e. more corruption = less development), but I suspect we might find more of an inverted U-shaped relationship between the two (old-school Huntington and all that).

    Does anyone know of a decent data set with corruption measurements I might play with?

  4. Admiral says:

    One of the ancient findings of classical liberals is that the larger the government, the more opportunities for corruption– not necessarily more corruption per se, but more opportunities.

    Although I haven’t looked at the data, given the US’ size, and that of its government, I think this is probably a pretty good ranking actually. But if classical liberals are right, we should be preparing to kiss our 19th ranking goodbye on a long, slow descent.

  5. TDL says:

    How can there be a perception that a government is corrupt when there is no government (as in the case of Somalia)?


  6. Given the lack of transparency in many countries, what would be a better proxy than perception do you suppose?

  7. Thomas says:

    I’m kind of curious as to the metrics used here.

  8. Alfred Russel Wallace says:

    Interesting definitions of corruption, even if it is only ‘perceived corruption’. Iceland was top of the league in 2005, yet we all know on what a foundation of sand their whole economy was based. If that isn’t corrupt, I don’t know what is… yet they have only fallen to 6 by 2007, and 8 this year – still above Japan, the UK and the US….

  9. spandrell says:

    Lack of freedom in Singapore is not corruption, is the political system they have. If you could publish something forbidden by bribing some official that would be corruption.
    Lee Kuan Yew famously said that corruption is the scourge of humanity, worse than stealing.

  10. UNRR says:

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 11/29/2009, at The Unreligious Right

  11. Curzon says:

    TDL — for one thing, you can buy a Somali passport.

  12. antiobjectivist says:

    The United States is the most corrupt country in the world, where bribery is considered to be business as usual. Buying Congresspeople is accepted as normal. This form of bribery is lionised as “freedom of speech”. Why, even fraud is considered to be all right by many powerful Americans, Alan Greenspan in particular saying that fraud should not even exist at all, that the self-regulating market would magically flush out any fraud artists – and these people use their power to see to it that anti-fraud laws are not enforced. The reason that it’s not listed as the most corrupt is that Transparency International and the world’s elite in general accept these American rules of the game as normal too…

    I want to also mention the IMF and neoliberal bean-counting mafia as being responsible for enormous corruption. When they demand that public servants be paid starvation wages, how can they claim to be outraged when such servants want those asking for such services to give them a little extra?