The Most Corrupt Countries

  • Corrupt Countries

    If you live in the U.S., here is one more reason to be thankful. Transparency International, an anti-corruption group, put together a list of the most corrupt countries in the world for 2010, and the U.S. is nowhere near the worst. In fact, of 178 countries studied, America ranks as the 22nd least corrupt, with Denmark and New Zealand topping the least corrupt list. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries based on the perception of corruption in the public sector. In order to do so, the researchers compile results from more than a dozen surveys with residents to determine the level of bribery, kickbacks and embezzlements that take place among public officials in each country. Unfortunately, the study found that corruption still remains a global issue. Three quarters of the countries surveyed scored between zero and five out of a high of 10, meaning most countries in the world have high amounts of corruption. “These results signal that significantly greater efforts must go into strengthening governance across the globe,” said Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International, in a press release. “We need to see more enforcement of existing rules and laws. There should be nowhere to hide for the corrupt or their money.” Here are the 10 countries with the most perceived corruption with their score out of 10 (remember: the lower it is, the more corrupt it is).
    10th Most Corrupt: Equatorial Guinea
  • 10th Most Corrupt: Equatorial Guinea

    For Guinea, much of the corruption problem has to do with its newfound oil wealth. According to a report from Human Rights Watch, Equatorial Guinea’s gross domestic product has increased by more than 5,000% since the early ‘90s due to increased oil sales, but the standard of living in the country remains largely unchanged. That money is going somewhere, just not to the majority of the population. Score: 1.9 Photo Credit: Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection
    9th Most Corrupt: Burundi
  • 9th Most Corrupt: Burundi

    A previous report from Transparency International found that Burundi has a bribery rate of 36.7%, making it the most bribe-friendly country in east Africa. In fact, things have gotten so bad in Burundi that the country made headlines last year when an unknown group of people kidnapped and murdered Ernest Manirumva, a leading anti-corruption figure. This country still has a long way to go. Score: 1.8 Photo Credit: Safety Nets WB
    8th Most Corrupt: Chad
  • 8th Most Corrupt: Chad

    Chad has long been listed among the most corrupt countries on the planet, although to be fair, Transparency International named it the most corrupt country back in 2005, so coming in at number eight is somewhat of an improvement. Like Guinea, Chad has benefited from oil resources, yet much of that money fails to end up in the hands of the people and is instead snatched up by those in charge or used on bogus public projects. Score: 1.7 Photo Credit: Andriyko_UA
    7th Most Corrupt: Sudan
  • 7th Most Corrupt: Sudan

    Sudan remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, despite claims from public officials to the contrary. Rampant embezzlement and a lack of transparency put Sudan at number seven. Score: 1.6 Photo Credit: Stein Ove Korneliussen
    6th Most Corrupt: Turkmenistan
  • 6th Most Corrupt: Turkmenistan

    According to the U.S. State Department, corruption is particularly bad in Turkmenistan because the president is the absolute center of power with complete control of the judicial system, which also leaves more room for the system to be corrupted. Score: 1.6 Photo Credit: flydime
    5th Most Corrupt: Uzbekistan
  • 5th Most Corrupt: Uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan is rich with resources like gold and cotton, but according to the U.S. State Department, the country is missing the kind of bureaucratic structure needed to protect business deals from corruption. Score: 1.6 Photo Credit: babasteve
    4th Most Corrupt: Iraq
  • 4th Most Corrupt: Iraq

    The dictator may be out of Iraq, but the corruption remains. In fact, to some extent, our efforts at reconstruction have only added to the country’s corruption, as thousands of dollars in foreign money intended to help rebuild Iraq may have been used for other means. Score: 1.5 Photo Credit: US Army
    3rd Most Corrupt: Afghanistan
  • 3rd Most Corrupt: Afghanistan

    Corruption in Afghanistan continues to be a major issue going forward. One survey earlier this year from the United Nations found that the majority of residents (54%) believe public dishonesty is a bigger concern than unemployment and for good reason. The same report also found that Afghan citizens paid out $2.5 billion in bribes. This corruption extends all the way to the top, with one top aide to the country’s president reportedly accepting a “bag of cash” from Iran. Score: 1.4 Photo Credit: US Army
    2nd Most Corrupt: Myanmar
  • 2nd Most Corrupt: Myanmar

    Like some of the other countries on this list, Myanmar, also known in the west as Burma, is rich with natural resources yet the people in this country are generally oppressed by the military government, and many live on just $1 a day. Score: 1.4 Photo Credit: preetamrai
    The Most Corrupt: Somalia
  • The Most Corrupt: Somalia

    Somalia has had the dubious distinction of being the most corrupt country in the world now for three consecutive years. Much of the country is effectively lawless, with no functioning government. As a result, it’s become a breeding ground for pirates, thieves and terrorists, and little seems to be changing. One U.N. report from earlier this year criticized the country’s officials for working with pirates and allowing food aid to be stolen. In response, the country’s president said this report was not based on reality. Either this country’s politicians are incredibly corrupt, or just in total denial. Score: 1.1 Photo Credit: Sand Paper
    The Most Corrupt Politicians in the U.S.
  • The Most Corrupt Politicians in the U.S.

    Even though the U.S. may rank relatively low for corruption on the list, it is still a problem we deal with here. Check out MainStreet's roundup of the most corrupt politicians in America. Photo Credit: hellohowareyoudoing
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