Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries In The World: 2018 List

While many have complained about corruption in the US, Transparency International releases an annual list of the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world. Scores are calculated on a scale of 100. The closer a countries score to 0, the more corrupt their government is.

The Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries In The World

Read on the find out which countries made the list of top 10 most corrupt countries in the world.

  1. Venezuela

Corruption Score: 18

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Power Structure: Federal Republic

The political and economic situation in this socialist country are so bad, people are fleeing to Columbia by the thousands. Venezuela is one of the most oil rich countries on earth, however, due to the countries socialist government structure, the nation’s oil reserves have been nationalized, leading to mismanagement and theft from corrupt officials.

  1. Iraq

Corruption Score: 18

Power Structure: Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Republic

The US is partly to blame for Iraq’s position on the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world list. The US supplanted Saddam Hussein and left a power vacuum behind in Iraq. This opened the door for corrupt leaders to seize power. The evacuation of American troops from Iraq also allowed for violent conflict between the Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis, and eventually ISIS, completely destabilizing the country.

  1. Guinea-Bissau

Corruption Score: 17

Power Structure: Semi-Presidential Republic

This west African country is a major center for trafficking and crime, while government corruption is practically an accepted norm. Since the country’s founding in the 1970s not a single president has successfully completed a term in office.

  1. North Korea

Corruption Score: 17

Power Structure: Dictatorship

A list of the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world wouldn’t be complete without North Korea. While North Korea has fallen on the list in recent years, it is still one of the most corrupt places on earth. Under the communist dictatorship citizens have virtually no rights or personal freedoms. Concentration camps rife with torture and rape are designed to terrify the populous into compliance with the regime, while starvation is a norm in the communist country.

  1. Libya

Corruption Score: 17

Power Structure: Transitional

Like Syria, the Arab Spring left Libya in a state of ongoing turmoil. After authoritarian leader Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power and killed, no government has been able to successfully reclaim control of the country. The subsequent power vacuum has allowed the shadiest of characters to seize control and take advantage of the violent upheaval. Arms dealers and corrupt military officials have profited from the ongoing civil war between rebels and loyalists to the old regime.

  1. Yemen

Corruption Score: 16

Power Structure: Constitutional Republic

Like Syria, Yemen is also involved in a long lasting civil war. The civil war has essentially become a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with Iran allegedly arming the rebels and Saudi Arabia supporting the government. Along with being one of the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world, Yemen is also one of the most dangerous. The war in Yemen, which has led to epidemics of preventable disease and starvation, has been called the worst human rights crisis of our time by the UN. The Saudi naval blockade of the country has been blamed for the horrific conditions in Yemen.

  1. Afghanistan

Corruption Score: 15

Power Structure: Islamic Republic

Afghanistan has a weak central government and is more realistically run by warlords and tribal leaders. While the US has spent billions of dollars trying to defeat the Taliban, a recent study found the Taliban is still active in 70% of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Afghanistan produces a huge share of the world’s heroin, opening up the country to trafficking and international criminals. Afghanistan also exports important minerals, like talc, the mining of which has been taken over by ISIS and the Taliban, who fight for control of the mines to fund their terrorist operations.

  1. Syria

Corruption Score: 14

Power Structure: Presidential Republic

While Syria has made the list the past few years, corruption has grown exponentially. Not only is Syria one of the most corrupt countries on earth, it’s also one of the most unstable. Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since the Arab Spring, leading to the worst refugee crisis of modern times. While President Bashar al-Assad has managed to hold onto power thus far, he has done so by waging a vicious war on his own people. He has been accused time and time again of using chemical warfare on Syrians residing in rebel strongholds.

  1. Sudan

Corruption Score: 12

Power Structure: Federal Republic

Sudan’s corruption is the result mainly of longstanding ethnic conflict within the country. After South Sudan split off from the country, taking with it its oil riches, the situation in Sudan has gotten even worse.

  1. Somalia

Corruption Score: 9

Power Structure: Transitional

Like Afghanistan, Somalia does have a central government, but the country is really run by rival warlords and clans. Somalia has also become infamous for piracy. The economic situation remains perilous, while only 29% of people attend school and the average life expectancy sits at 55.

Other Corrupt Nations:

Although these nations didn’t make the top 10 list, they are still worth discussing.


Corruption Score: 20

Power Structure: Single-Party Presidential Democracy

Eritrea is an African country bordering the Red Sea. With a single-party government, it’s not surprise that Eritrea is one of the most corrupt countries one earth. Eritrea is also the only country other than the US where you have to pay income tax even if you don’t live there.


Corruption Score: 19

Power Structure: Presidential Democracy/Authoritarian

Turkmenistan was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The fall of the USSR left many areas open to be overtaken by corrupt rulers. This is exactly what happened in Turkmenistan. The former communist country is led by authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Berdimuhamedow enjoys complete control over public life. He once even had all black cars impounded by the police because he believes black to be unlucky.


Corruption Score: 19

Power Structure: Republic

With rich oil reserves, this west African nation has become a hotbed of corruption. Corrupt leaders treat the country like their personal piggy bank, while money laundering and embezzlement are widespread. Angola is not only one of the most corrupt nations in the world, it’s also considered the most dangerous place to be a child. Human trafficking, forced prostitution, and forced labor are widespread.