Most Corrupt Countries 2021

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Not all governments are looking out for the best interests of their citizens. Many countries have been caught up in political scandals and corruption. Some even have such a history of corruption that it has caused political unrest between the country's government and its citizens.

While there isn’t a surefire way to measure corruption within a nation, data can be used to rank countries that are seen as the most corrupt. For instance, the Corruption Perceptions Index, which was initially 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.

The January 2021 report incorporates data from 2020. As in previous years, Somalia was ranked as the most corrupt country in the world, receiving a score of just 12 out of 100 (lower scores are worse). This is an improvement from the country's previous score of 9.

Tied with Somalia is South Sudan with a score of 12 out of 100. Third place on the "most corrupt" list goes to Syria, with a score of 14 out of 100.

The top 10 most corrupt countries according to the 2020 CPI are:

  1. Somalia (Corruption Perception Index Score: 12)
  2. South Sudan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 12)
  3. Syria (Corruption Perception Index Score: 14)
  4. Yemen (Corruption Perception Index Score: 15)
  5. Venezuela (Corruption Perception Index Score: 15)
  6. Sudan (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
  7. Equatorial Guinea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 16)
  8. Libya (Corruption Perception Index Score: 17)
  9. North Korea (Corruption Perception Index Score: 18)
  10. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Corruption Perception Index Score: 18)

However, other studies provide different rankings. The 2021 Best Countries rankings from U.S. News and World Report, BAV Group, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed more than 17,000 citizens all over the world. Of the seventy-eight countries featured in the survey, Iraq was chosen as 2021's most corrupt nation. Colombia and Mexico slotted in second and third place.

The top 10 most corrupt nations, according to the 2021 U.S. News and World Report rankings, are:

  1. Nigeria
  2. Colombia
  3. Mexico
  4. Brazil
  5. Russia
  6. Guatemala
  7. Kazakhstan
  8. Lebanon
  9. El Salvador
  10. Azerbaijan

On the other hand, the CPI report's least corrupt countries for 2021 are New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore.

For the full list of 2020 CPI rankings, see below.

Most Corrupt Countries 2021

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Most Corrupt Countries 2021

Country Corruption Score 2021 Population
Denmark875,813,298
New Zealand874,860,643
Finland865,548,360
Sweden8510,160,169
Switzerland858,715,494
Singapore855,896,686
Norway845,465,630
Netherlands8217,173,099
Germany8083,900,473
Luxembourg80634,814
Iceland78343,353
United Kingdom7768,207,116
Canada7738,067,903
Australia7725,788,215
Austria779,043,070
Hong Kong767,552,810
Belgium7511,632,326
Ireland744,982,907
Estonia741,325,185
Japan73126,050,804
United Arab Emirates719,991,089
Uruguay713,485,151
France6965,426,179
Bhutan68779,898
Chile6719,212,361
Seychelles6698,908
Taiwan6523,855,010
Bahamas64396,913
Spain6246,745,216
Portugal6210,167,925
Qatar622,930,528
Barbados62287,711
Botswana612,397,241
Israel608,789,774
Lithuania602,689,862
Slovenia602,078,724
South Korea5951,305,186
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines59111,263
Poland5837,797,005
Cyprus581,215,584
Costa Rica565,139,052
Georgia563,979,765
Latvia561,866,942
Saint Lucia55184,400
Dominica5572,167
Malta54442,784
Italy5360,367,477
Malaysia5332,776,194
Rwanda5313,276,513
Grenada53113,021
Oman525,223,375
Namibia522,587,344
Mauritius521,273,433
Slovakia505,460,721
Cuba4811,317,505
Greece4810,370,744
Jordan4810,269,021
Croatia474,081,651
Vanuatu46314,464
Sao Tome And Principe46223,368
Argentina4545,605,826
Senegal4517,196,301
Belarus459,442,862
Montenegro45628,053
South Africa4460,041,994
Romania4419,127,774
Hungary449,634,164
Suriname44591,800
Tunisia4311,935,766
Bulgaria436,896,663
Jamaica432,973,463
Armenia422,968,127
Bahrain421,748,296
Solomon Islands42703,996
China411,444,216,107
India411,393,409,038
Morocco4137,344,795
Ghana4131,732,129
Benin4112,451,040
Indonesia40276,361,783
Burkina Faso4021,497,096
Kuwait404,328,550
Lesotho402,159,079
Trinidad And Tobago401,403,375
Guyana40790,326
Turkey3985,042,738
Serbia398,697,550
Sri Lanka3821,497,310
Ecuador3817,888,475
Timor Leste381,343,873
Ethiopia37117,876,227
Vietnam3798,168,833
Tanzania3761,498,437
Colombia3751,265,844
Gambia372,486,945
Thailand3669,950,850
Peru3633,359,418
Panama364,381,579
Bosnia And Herzegovina363,263,466
Brazil35213,993,437
Egypt35104,258,327
Algeria3544,616,624
Ivory Coast3527,053,629
Mongolia353,329,289
Albania352,872,933
North Macedonia352,082,658
Philippines34111,046,913
Nepal3429,674,920
Kazakhstan3418,994,962
Zambia3418,920,651
El Salvador346,518,499
Eswatini341,172,362
Sierra Leone338,141,343
Pakistan32225,199,937
Niger3225,130,817
Moldova324,024,019
Malawi3119,647,684
Bolivia3111,832,940
Gabon312,278,825
Ukraine3043,466,819
Azerbaijan3010,223,342
Kyrgyzstan306,628,356
Djibouti301,002,187
Mexico29130,262,216
Myanmar2954,806,012
Mali2920,855,735
Guinea2913,497,244
Togo298,478,250
Laos297,379,358
Maldives29543,617
Russia28145,912,025
Kenya2854,985,698
Uganda2847,123,531
Dominican Republic2810,953,703
Papua New Guinea289,119,010
Paraguay287,219,638
Lebanon286,769,146
Liberia285,180,203
Mauritania284,775,119
Nigeria26211,400,708
Iran2685,028,759
Angola2633,933,610
Mozambique2632,163,047
Honduras2610,062,991
Uzbekistan2533,935,763
Cameroon2527,224,265
Zimbabwe2515,092,171
Tajikistan259,749,627
Central African Republic254,919,981
Comoros25888,451
Madagascar2428,427,328
Eritrea233,601,467
Nicaragua226,702,385
Iraq2041,179,350
Cambodia2016,946,438
Chad2016,914,985
Burundi1912,255,433
Turkmenistan196,117,924
Haiti1811,541,685
Libya186,958,532
Guinea Bissau182,015,494
North Korea1725,887,041
Sudan1644,909,353
Afghanistan1639,835,428
Venezuela1628,704,954
Equatorial Guinea161,449,896
Yemen1530,490,640
Syria1318,275,702
South Sudan1211,381,378
Somalia916,359,504

Most Corrupt Countries 2021