Transparency International has released its 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index which gauges levels of perceived public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. The index scores them on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (clean) with the average score just 43 out of 100. More than two thirds of countries scored lower than 50, as 155 countries have made “no significant progress against corruption over the last decade.” The last edition of the research found that anti-corruption efforts have stalled of late, as many countries used the Covid-19 pandemic “as an excuse to curtail basic freedoms and side-step important checks and balances.”
In 2022, the countries with the lowest perceived level of public sector corruption were Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, followed by Norway, Singapore and Sweden. The opposite end of the index saw Somalia scoring just 12, making it the world’s most corruption-stricken country. Syria and South Sudan were close behind with a score of 13, followed by Venezuela and Yemen.
The United States only came in 24th with a score of 69 – a slight increase on last year’s score which was the country’s lowest since 2012. Despite the Biden administration establishing corruption as a core national security concern, Transparency International noted last year that the country’s relatively low position on the CPI can be explained by the “persistent attacks against free and fair elections, culminating in a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, and an increasingly opaque campaign finance system.”