Most Corrupt Countries 2019

Not all governments are looking out for the best interests of their citizens. In fact, many countries have been caught up in political scandals and corruption. Some have even had such a history of corruption, that it has caused political unrest against its citizens.

While there isn’t a surefire way to measure corruption within a nation, there are data that can be used to rank countries that are seen as the most corrupt. For instance, the Corruption Perceptions Index, which was originally launched in 1995, uses expert assessments and opinion surveys to determine how corrupt a country is. The CPI defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit.”

Through this report, 180 countries are ranked on a scale from 0 to 100. The lower the score, the more corrupt a country is perceived to be.

As of October 2018, the 2017 report was the latest to be released. It was released on February 21, 2018. Through this survey, it is reported that Somalia is the most corrupt country in the world, receiving a score of just 9 out of 100.

South Sudan isn’t too far behind. It is the second-most corrupt country in the world with a score of 12 out of 100. Rounding out the top three is Syria, with a score of 14 out of 100.

The top 25 most corrupt countries according to the CPI are:

  1. Somalia (Corruption Perception Index Score: 9)
  2. South Sudan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 12)
  3. Syria (Corruption Perception Index Score: 14)
  4. Afghanistan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 15)
  5. Yemen (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
  6. Sudan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
  7. Libya (Corruption Perception Index Score: 17)
  8. North Korea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 17)
  9. Venezuela (Corruption Perception Index Score: 18)
  10. Iraq (Corruption Perception Index Score: 18)
  11. Turkmenistan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 19)
  12. Angola (Corruption Perception Index Score: 19)
  13. Eritrea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 20)
  14. Chad (Corruption Perception Index Score: 20)
  15. Tajikistan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 21)
  16. Republic of Congo (Corruption Perception Index Score: 21)
  17. Democratic Republic of Congo (Corruption Perception Index Score: 21)
  18. Cambodia (Corruption Perception Index Score: 21)
  19. Zimbabwe (Corruption Perception Index Score: 22)
  20. Haiti (Corruption Perception Index Score: 22)
  21. Burundi (Corruption Perception Index Score: 22)
  22. Central African Republic (Corruption Perception Index Score: 23)
  23. Madagascar (Corruption Perception Index Score: 24)
  24. Guinea-Bissau (Corruption Perception Index Score: 27)
  25. Equatorial Guinea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 27)

However, there are other surveys available that provide different rankings. The 2018 Best Countries rankings from U.S. News and World Report takes a look at survey data from over 21,000 citizens. Eighty countries are featured on this list. This survey shows that Nigeria is seen as the most corrupt nation. Colombia and Pakistan round out the top three.

The top 10 most corrupt nations according to the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings are:

  1. Nigeria
  2. Colombia
  3. Pakistan
  4. Iran
  5. Mexico
  6. Ghana
  7. Angola
  8. Russia
  9. Kenya
  10. Guatemala
Flag Name Population 2019 Area Growth Rate
Sudan42,813,2381,886,068 km²2.42%
Iraq39,309,783438,317 km²2.28%
Afghanistan38,041,754652,230 km²2.34%
Angola31,825,2951,246,700 km²3.30%
Yemen29,161,922527,968 km²2.33%
Venezuela28,515,829916,445 km²-1.29%
Madagascar26,969,307587,041 km²2.69%
North Korea25,666,161120,538 km²0.46%
Syria17,070,135185,180 km²0.74%
Cambodia16,486,542181,035 km²1.46%
Chad15,946,8761,284,000 km²3.03%
Somalia15,442,905637,657 km²2.90%
Zimbabwe14,645,468390,757 km²1.43%
Burundi11,530,58027,834 km²3.18%
Haiti11,263,07727,750 km²1.26%
South Sudan11,062,113619,745 km²0.79%
Tajikistan9,321,018143,100 km²2.42%
Libya6,777,4521,759,540 km²1.48%
Turkmenistan5,942,089488,100 km²1.56%
Central African Republic4,745,185622,984 km²1.69%
Eritrea3,497,117117,600 km²1.28%
Guinea Bissau1,920,92236,125 km²2.49%
Equatorial Guinea1,355,98628,051 km²3.59%