Good and bad, angels and sinners, oh and Rob Ford, but you decide which side of the fence he sits on… Transparency International, a watchdog NGO, has published its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013, which ranks countries around the world by perceived level of government corruption, with a score of 100 signaling an absence of official corruption and a score of 0 indicating a country that is hopelessly corrupt. There were a total of 177 countries and territories listed on the index, less than one-third managed to break 50. As No. 127 Nicaragua would say, that’s no bueno. So in what countries can you trust public officials and what places should you avoid?
To start, the Nordic countries are a safe bet for business, with Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway all among the least corrupt nations. Rounding out the top five are New Zealand, tied for first with Denmark with a score of 91, and Singapore, tied with Norway for No. 5.
10 least corrupt countries in the world, according to the index:
- New Zealand (tied with Denmark for No. 1)
- Sweden (tied with Finland for No. 3)
- Singapore (tied with Norway for No. 5)
- Canada (tied with Australia for No. 9)
What about our neighbours to the south? The United States which is by far the world’s largest economy ranked #19 with a score of 73, Canada and Australia, are tied for 9th place with scores of 81. (Both have dropped since last year. In 2012, Canada scored an 84 and Australia an 85.) The United Kingdom is ranked No. 14. Mexico, another U.S. neighbor, is listed as far more corrupt than Canada, with a score of 34 ranking it at 106 of 177. (This reporter’s own experience suggests the country’s low score is well-deserved.)
10 most corrupt nations, starting with the worst:
- North Korea (tied with Somalia and Afghanistan for No. 175)
- Afghanistan (tied with North Korea and Somalia for No. 175)
- South Sudan
- Turkmenistan (tied with Uzbekistan and Syria for No. 168)
- Syria (tied with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for No. 168)
Check out the infographic below for the full index of 177 countries.