Shady business deals in Angola’s diamond business, FIFA officials bought off by Qatar to let the country host the World Cup, and Guatemalan politicians bribed to lower customs duties: Those are the hallmarks of corruption, and Transparency International released a new report Wednesday showing which nations are the worst of the worst.
The annual index of global corruption perceptions found — once again — that none of the 168 countries monitored by the group are corruption-free. Even Denmark, named the least corrupt country in 2015, was nine points off from a perfect score, with 91 out of 100. Somalia and North Korea tied for the most corrupt, with low scores of eight points.
Those bottom two may not come as a surprise, but other countries — including Australia, Brazil, Libya, Spain, and Turkey — also all scored worse than in years past.
The watchdog’s findings are based on whether a country has an independent judiciary, a clean and well-functioning public sector, and institutions trustworthy enough to prevent corruption and prosecute corrupt officials.
In the new report, Transparency International also found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that wrongdoing thrived last year in some of the world’s most unstable nations. North Korea, South Sudan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia were each among the top 10 most corrupt.
And borders did not stop the rot. As an example, the group noted that TeliaSonera, a telecommunications company partially owned by the Swedish government, is now under investigation for allegedly paying millions of dollars in bribes to secure business deals in Uzbekistan, one of the most corrupt countries on the index.
Sweden’s case isn’t an isolated one. Transparency’s research has shown that half of all countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, sometimes mockingly called the “rich nations’ club,” are violating obligations to stop their companies from engaging in bribery abroad.
Still, not all countries saw their rankings deteriorate in 2015: Greece, Sénégal, and the United Kingdom all scored higher than in 2014, and the U.S. ranked at 16th with a score of 76 — two points higher than last year.
The map below shows the relative levels of corruption around the world, with the most corrupt countries colored dark red and the least corrupt ones appearing in light yellow. Clicking on a country pulls up its score as well as where it ranks out of the 168 countries included in the index.
Image credit: Transparency International