What Are The World’s Most Corrupt Countries?

In January 2016, Transparency International released its annual Corruption Index This data ranks nearly every country’s perceived corruption based on levels of bribery, illegitimate government spending and lack of anti-corruption measures

Year after year, many of the same countries are at the bottom of the list So which countries take up these spots? And why are they so corrupt? Well, as of the end of 2015, the three most corrupt countries are Afghanistan, Somalia and North Korea Much of Afghanistan’s prevailing corruption is linked to misuse of aid money given to the country from international donors The Afghan government pledged to combat this issue in 2012, however little progress has been made, as public officials benefit the most from this type of corruption Somalia suffers from a similar problem

A report by the World Bank showed that roughly $130 million dollars of donor funds to the federal government had gone missing over just two years What’s more, Somalia’s private enterprises pay little or no taxes to the state, but instead pay optional fees to government officials who support their company’s interests By contrast, bribes in North Korea are mostly paid by citizens For example, North Koreans who are looking for a better job must pay a public official to assign them one, as all citizens are selected for jobs by the government What these three and most corrupt countries have in common is armed conflict and political oppression, which are environments where public sector corruption particularly thrive

The country that took the biggest tumble was Brazil, which dropped seven positions in just one year This is due in part to the Petrobras scandal, in which Brazilian politicians allegedly took millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for awarding public contracts The incident slowed investments in energy and construction, costing tens of thousands of Brazilians to lose their jobs However Brazil could see a turnaround in 2016, as mass public protests have pressured the government to introduce anti-corruption legislation In contrast, northern Europe saw the least corruption in 2015, with Denmark, Finland and Sweden at the top of the list

Scandinavian countries repeatedly rank well in corruption studies, mainly because they allow public access to the government’s budget information, so citizens can see exactly where public money comes from and how it’s spent These countries also have high levels of press freedom and a judicial system that does not base decisions on a person’s income Still, no country is completely free of corruption In fact, even the highest ranking countries have been linked to unlawful deals outside their borders The best example of this is TeliaSonera, a company partially owned by the Swedish state, which allegedly paid millions of dollars in bribes to Uzbekistan in order to secure business there

However incidents like this are not factored into the corruption index, because it only reflects government corruption within a country’s borders – not corruption overseas or in the private sector But despite alleged corruption in supposedly un-corrupt countries, more countries are moving up the index than are moving down According to the world bank, one of the best ways to combat corruption is to create policies that thoroughly investigate and report government spending Still, more than 6 billion people live under corrupt governments And until more countries adopt similar policies, that number is likely to increase

If you want a closer look at corruption issues in individual countries, like Brazil, check out our corruption playlist Thanks for watching Test Tube News, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day

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