< 5

> 5

> 10

> 15

> 20

> 25

> 30

> 35

> 40

> 45

> 50

Hover overClick on a tile for details.

Most Corrupt States 2021

In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry about corruption. We could rest assured that our local, state, and federal governments look out for their citizens' best interests. Unfortunately, many nations worldwide deal with corruption – including the United States. According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), the United States is the 25th-least corrupt country out of

Although the United States may not be as corrupt as many other nations globally, there have been some notable scandals and evidence of corruption throughout the years. In some states, this is more prevalent than others.

Determining Corruption by State

Measuring how corrupt a state is can be difficult, and it's not a perfect science. However, Best Life collected several data points to determine which states were the most and least corrupt. Best Life looks at the following information to create their list:

  • Number of public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents
  • Number of reported violations by medical providers between 1990-2020 (both adverse action reports and medical malpractice payment reports)
  • States With Anti-Corruption Measures for Public Officials (S.W.A.M.P. Index)
  • State Integrity Score

Each metric was given a weighted value and was given a Corruption Index Score, where 100 is the most corrupt score a state can receive, and 0 is the least.

Most Corrupt U.S. States

Based on Best Life's analysis, the ten most corrupt states in the U.S. are:

  1. Vermont
  2. Utah
  3. Arizona
  4. Oregon
  5. Colorado
  6. Idaho
  7. Iowa
  8. Minnesota
  9. Nebraska
  10. Washington

Vermont is the most corrupt U.S. state. While this might come as a surprise, as Vermont is considered one of the [safest states](/state-rankings/safest-states with low crime rates, the data shows that Vermont has a relatively low integrity score and a significant number of corruption convictions per capita at 42 per 10,000 residents.

On the other hand, the least corrupt state is Kentucky, with a Corruption Index Score of just 0.02. Following Kentucky are Illinois, South Dakota, and Alaska.

Here are the 10 states with the most corruption convictions per capita:

  1. Oregon (50 per 10k)
  2. Washington (49 per 10k)
  3. Utah (48 per 10k)
  4. New Hampshire (47 per 10k)
  5. Minnesota (46 per 10k)
  6. Nevada (45 per 10k)
  7. Colorado (44 per 10k)
  8. Nebraska (43 per 10k)
  9. Vermont (42 per 10k)
  10. North Carolina (41 per 10k)

Most Corrupt States 2021

State Convictions Per Capita 2021 Pop.
Oregon504,289,439
Washington497,796,941
Utah483,310,774
New Hampshire471,372,203
Minnesota465,706,398
Nevada453,185,786
Colorado445,893,634
Nebraska431,951,996
Vermont42623,251
North Carolina4110,701,022
Iowa403,167,974
Idaho391,860,123
Arizona387,520,103
Wisconsin375,852,490
Kansas362,917,224
Texas3529,730,311
California3439,613,493
Indiana336,805,663
Michigan329,992,427
New Mexico312,105,005
Arkansas303,033,946
Connecticut293,552,821
Rhode Island281,061,509
Maine271,354,522
Wyoming26581,075
Georgia2510,830,007
Hawaii241,406,430
Missouri236,169,038
Massachusetts226,912,239
Maryland216,065,436
South Carolina205,277,830
Delaware19990,334
Florida1821,944,577
New Jersey178,874,520
Virginia168,603,985
West Virginia151,767,859
Pennsylvania1312,804,123
Oklahoma123,990,443
Ohio1211,714,618
New York1119,299,981
Tennessee106,944,260
Kentucky94,480,713
Montana81,085,004
Alabama74,934,193
Illinois612,569,321
North Dakota5770,026
South Dakota4896,581
Alaska3724,357
Mississippi22,966,407

Most Corrupt States 2021