NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Two-Thirds of Countries Are Rife With Corruption

August 29, 2002

The organization Transparency International reports a sharp decline in the number of countries practicing honest business ethics last year.

The Berlin-based group found in its 2002 report that:

  • Some 70 percent of the 102 countries it surveyed scored less than 5 on its Corruption Perceptions Index -- in which 1 represents the most corrupt countries and 10 the least.
  • Bangladesh is the most corrupt nation with a score of 1.2 -- followed by Paraguay, Madagascar, Angola, Kenya and Indonesia.
  • Finland scored a 9.7, ranking it the least corrupt country for two years in a row -- followed by Denmark, New Zealand, Iceland, Singapore and Sweden.
  • The U.S. was ranked the 16th least corrupt -- with a score of 7.7.

Wide swaths of Africa and the former Soviet republics share a reputation for having public officials on the take. Although many of the former communist states are riddled with corruption, there was some good news. Slovenia moved from 5.2 points to 6.0, and Russia also improved. But it still scored below 3 points, as did Uzbekistan, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and several others.

Latin America in general has slipped down the rankings of perceived corruption of its public officials and politicians. Argentina fell from 57th to 70th place on the list, registering a final score of 2.8.

Source: Reuters, "Study Ranks Bangladesh Most Corrupt Country," New York Times, August 29, 2002.


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