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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.
Oregon504,289,440
Washington497,796,940
Utah483,310,770
New Hampshire471,372,200
Minnesota465,706,400
Nevada453,185,790
Colorado445,893,630
Nebraska431,952,000
Vermont42623,251
North Carolina4110,701,000
Iowa403,167,970
Idaho391,860,120
Arizona387,520,100
Wisconsin375,852,490
Kansas362,917,220
Texas3529,730,300
California3439,613,500
Indiana336,805,660
Michigan329,992,430
New Mexico312,105,000
Arkansas303,033,950
Connecticut293,552,820
Rhode Island281,061,510
Maine271,354,520
Wyoming26581,075
Georgia2510,830,000
Hawaii241,406,430
Missouri236,169,040
Massachusetts226,912,240
Maryland216,065,440
South Carolina205,277,830
Delaware19990,334
Florida1821,944,600
New Jersey178,874,520
Virginia168,603,980
West Virginia151,767,860
Pennsylvania1312,804,100
Oklahoma123,990,440
Ohio1211,714,600
New York1119,300,000
Tennessee106,944,260
Kentucky94,480,710
Montana81,085,000
Alabama74,934,190
Illinois612,569,300
North Dakota5770,026
South Dakota4896,581
Alaska3724,357
Mississippi22,966,410

Most Corrupt States 2021