map placeholder
Hover overClick on a tile for details.

Most Corrupt States 2022

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. 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), and 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., in order, are: Vermont, Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and 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. Wyoming (84.16 per 10k)
  2. Vermont (80.27 per 10k)
  3. Alaska (51.33 per 10k)
  4. North Dakota (49.10 per 10k)
  5. Delaware (46.06 per 10k)
  6. Rhode Island (41.41 per 10k)
  7. South Dakota (37.67 per 10k)
  8. New Hampshire (34.82 per 10k)
  9. Montana (32.93 per 10k)
  10. Maine (29.42 per 10k)

Most Corrupt States 2022

State Convictions Per Capita 2022 Pop.
Wyoming84.16582,233
Vermont80.27622,882
Alaska51.33720,763
North Dakota49.10774,008
Delaware46.06998,619
Rhode Island41.411,062,583
South Dakota37.67902,542
New Hampshire34.821,378,449
Montana32.931,093,117
Maine29.421,359,677
Hawaii27.821,401,709
Idaho24.781,896,652
Nebraska22.951,960,790
New Mexico16.592,109,093
West Virginia15.381,755,715
Utah12.793,363,182
Nevada12.663,238,601
Kansas10.962,919,179
Iowa10.403,174,426
Oregon9.714,325,290
Arkansas9.203,042,017
Connecticut7.333,546,588
Mississippi5.742,961,536
Minnesota5.235,739,781
Colorado5.205,961,083
Oklahoma4.994,007,179
South Carolina4.315,342,388
Wisconsin4.265,867,518
Washington3.687,887,965
Kentucky3.344,487,233
Indiana3.226,842,385
Arizona3.147,640,796
Maryland3.136,075,314
Missouri2.916,184,843
Alabama2.634,949,697
Massachusetts2.316,922,107
Louisiana1.954,616,106
North Carolina1.9410,807,491
Tennessee1.577,001,803
Michigan1.409,995,212
Virginia1.168,638,218
Georgia1.1010,936,299
New Jersey0.908,870,685
Ohio0.6011,727,377
Pennsylvania0.3912,805,190
Illinois0.2412,518,071
Texas0.2030,097,526
Florida0.1822,177,997
New York0.0519,223,191
California0.0539,664,128

Most Corrupt States 2022

Sources