Berlin, 27 January 2016 – 2015 showed that people working together can succeed in the battle against corruption. Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the 2015 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index than declined.

Most Corrupt Countries
IMAGE: Transparency International

Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries on the 2015 index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

Yet in places like Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana, citizen activists in groups and on their own worked hard to drive out the corrupt, sending a strong message that should encourage others to take decisive action in 2016.

“Corruption can be beaten if we work together. To stamp out the abuse of power, bribery and shed light on secret deals, citizens must together tell their governments they have had enough.

“The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a blight around the world. But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption. People across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.

This year Transparency International is calling on all people to take action by voting at unmaskthecorrupt.org. We want to know which cases the public most believe merit urgent attention to send a message that we will take a stand against grand corruption.

Brazil was the biggest decliner in the index, falling 5 points and dropping 7 positions to a rank of 76. The unfolding Petrobras scandal brought people into the streets in 2015 and the start of judicial process may help Brazil stop corruption.

Good news stories on the fight against corruption can be found on our website here about Mongolia, here on Guatemala and here on whistleblowing and include successes from our network of more than 100 chapters.

The results

The index covers perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 countries.

Denmark took the top spot for the 2nd year running, with North Korea and Somalia the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each.

Top performers share key characteristics: high levels of press freedom; access to budget information so the public knows where money comes from and how it is spent; high levels of integrity among people in power; and judiciaries that don’t differentiate between rich and poor, and that are truly independent from other parts of government.

In addition to conflict and war, poor governance, weak public institutions like police and the judiciary, and a lack of independence in the media characterise the lowest ranked countries.

The big decliners in the past 4 years include Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey. The big improvers include Greece, Senegal and UK.
The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption. Countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs.

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Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.

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Most corrupt ranked in order.

Rank Country/territory 2015 Score 2014 Score 2013 Score 2012 Score
167 Somalia 8 8 8 8
167 Korea (North) 8 8 8 8
166 Afghanistan 11 12 8 8
165 Sudan 12 11 11 13
163 South Sudan 15 15 14 N/A
163 Angola 15 19 23 22
161 Iraq 16 16 16 18
161 Libya 16 18 15 21
158 Venezuela 17 19 20 19
158 Haiti 17 19 19 19
158 Guinea-Bissau 17 19 19 25
154 Syria 18 20 17 26
154 Yemen 18 19 18 23
154 Turkmenistan 18 17 17 17
154 Eritrea 18 18 20 25
153 Uzbekistan 19 18 17 17
150 Zimbabwe 21 21 21 20
150 Cambodia 21 21 20 22
150 Burundi 21 20 21 19
147 Democratic Republic of the Congo 22 22 22 21
147 Myanmar 22 21 21 15
147 Chad 22 22 19 19
146 Congo Republic 23 23 22 26
145 Central African Republic 24 24 25 26
139 Uganda 25 26 26 29
139 Laos 25 25 26 21
139 Kenya 25 25 27 27
139 Guinea 25 25 24 24
139 Bangladesh 25 25 27 26
139 Papua New Guinea 25 25 25 25
136 Nigeria 26 27 25 27
136 Tajikistan 26 23 22 22
136 Comoros 26 26 28 28
130 Ukraine 27 26 25 26
130 Paraguay 27 24 24 25
130 Nicaragua 27 28 28 29
130 Nepal 27 29 31 27
130 Iran 27 27 25 28
130 Cameroon 27 27 25 26
123 Timor-Leste 28 28 30 33
123 Madagascar 28 28 28 32
123 Lebanon 28 27 28 30
123 Kyrgyzstan 28 27 24 24
123 Kazakhstan 28 29 26 28
123 Guatemala 28 32 29 33
123 Gambia 28 29 28 34
119 Sierra Leone 29 31 30 31
119 Russia 29 27 28 28
119 Azerbaijan 29 29 28 27
119 Guyana 29 30 27 28
117 Pakistan 30 29 28 27
117 Tanzania 30 31 33 35
112 Mozambique 31 31 30 31
112 Mauritania 31 30 30 31
112 Malawi 31 33 37 37
112 Honduras 31 29 26 28
112 Vietnam 31 31 31 31
107 Ecuador 32 33 35 32
107 Cote d’Ivoire 32 32 27 29
107 Belarus 32 31 29 31
107 Argentina 32 34 34 35
107 Togo 32 29 29 30
103 Moldova 33 35 35 36
103 Kosovo 33 33 33 34
103 Ethiopia 33 33 33 33
103 Dominican Republic 33 32 29 32
99 Niger 34 35 34 33
99 Djibouti 34 34 36 36
99 Bolivia 34 35 34 34
99 Gabon 34 37 34 35
95 Philippines 35 38 36 34
95 Mexico 35 35 34 34
95 Mali 35 32 28 34
95 Armenia 35 37 36 34
88 Suriname 36 36 36 37
88 Peru 36 38 38 38
88 Morocco 36 39 37 37
88 Indonesia 36 34 32 32
88 Egypt 36 37 32 32
88 Algeria 36 36 36 34
88 Albania 36 33 31 33
83 Colombia 37 37 36 36
83 Benin 37 39 36 36
83 China 37 36 40 39
83 Sri Lanka 37 38 37 40
83 Liberia 37 37 38 41
76 Zambia 38 38 38 37
76 Tunisia 38 40 41 41
76 India 38 38 36 36
76 Burkina Faso 38 38 38 38
76 Brazil 38 43 42 43
76 Bosnia and Herzegovina 38 39 42 42
76 Thailand 38 38 35 37
72 Panama 39 37 35 38
72 El Salvador 39 39 38 38
72 Trinidad and Tobago 39 38 38 39
72 Mongolia 39 39 38 36
71 Serbia 40 41 42 39
69 Jamaica 41 38 38 38
69 Bulgaria 41 43 41 41
66 Turkey 42 45 50 49
66 The FYR of Macedonia 42 45 44 43
66 Sao Tome and Principe 42 42 42 42
61 Senegal 44 43 41 36
61 Montenegro 44 42 44 41
61 Lesotho 44 49 49 45
61 Italy 44 43 43 42
61 South Africa 44 44 42 43
60 Oman 45 45 47 47
58 Romania 46 43 43 44
58 Greece 46 43 40 36
56 Cuba 47 46 46 48
56 Ghana 47 48 46 45
55 Kuwait 49 44 43 44
54 Malaysia 50 52 50 49
50 Hungary 51 54 54 55
50 Croatia 51 48 48 46
50 Bahrain 51 49 48 51
50 Slovakia 51 50 47 46
48 Georgia 52 52 49 52
48 Saudi Arabia 52 49 46 44
45 Namibia 53 49 48 48
45 Mauritius 53 54 52 57
45 Jordan 53 49 45 48
44 Rwanda 54 49 53 53
40 Seychelles 55 55 54 52
40 Latvia 55 55 53 49
40 Costa Rica 55 54 53 54
40 Cape Verde 55 57 58 60
37 Malta 56 55 56 57
37 Korea (South) 56 55 55 56
37 Czech Republic 56 51 48 49
36 Spain 58 60 59 65
35 Slovenia 60 58 57 61
32 Israel 61 60 61 60
32 Cyprus 61 63 63 66
32 Lithuania 61 58 57 54
30 Taiwan 62 61 61 61
30 Poland 62 61 60 58
28 Portugal 63 63 62 63
28 Botswana 63 63 64 65
27 Bhutan 65 65 63 63
23 United Arab Emirates 70 70 69 68
23 France 70 69 71 71
23 Estonia 70 69 68 64
23 Chile 70 73 71 72
22 Qatar 71 69 68 68
21 Uruguay 74 73 73 72
18 Japan 75 76 74 74
18 Hong Kong 75 74 75 77
18 Ireland 75 74 72 69
16 United States 76 74 73 73
16 Austria 76 72 69 69
15 Belgium 77 76 75 75
13 Iceland 79 79 78 82
13 Australia 79 80 81 85
10 United Kingdom 81 78 76 74
10 Luxembourg 81 82 80 80
10 Germany 81 79 78 79
9 Canada 83 81 81 84
8 Singapore 85 84 86 87
7 Switzerland 86 86 85 86
5 Norway 87 86 86 85
5 Netherlands 87 83 83 84
4 New Zealand 88 91 91 90
3 Sweden 89 87 89 88
2 Finland 90 89 89 90
1 Denmark 91 92 91 90

Table Source: Transparency International.