The Most Corrupt Countries in the World

Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, launching rockets and shells throughout Ukraine, killing at least 137 soldiers on the first day. 

This military action has threatened to destabilize the entire Eastern European region. Corrupt governments, such as the one in Russia, pose a threat to global order and security. Such a concentration of power for the head of state allows authoritarian regimes to crack down on dissenters and journalists and carry out military operations virtually unopposed. And Russia is far from the only country with such high levels of corruption.

To determine the most corrupt countries in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Countries were ranked based on their corruption index score, a measure reflecting perceived levels of public sector corruption ranging from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Transparency International calculates index scores using data  from 13 different surveys. Each country considered must have at least three sources assessing it.. Data on population came from the World Bank and is for 2020.

Overall, the nations of the world have done little to improve the perception of their corruption in recent years. All across the globe, countries have cracked down on civil liberties and removed accountability measures designed to keep public sector corruption in check. Even in relatively open countries, accountability for major issues like COVID-19 responses has been limited.

In corrupt countries, it can be very difficult for average citizens to gain access to the financial resources they need to escape poverty. High levels of corruption have been shown to cut down on economic growth and restrict access to education, which can make it more difficult for lower-income individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. This has been shown to increase the gap between the rich and the poor. These are the countries with the worst wealth inequality.

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