US Ranking Drops on World Corruption Index

By Autumn Spredemann
Autumn Spredemann
Autumn Spredemann
Autumn is a South America-based reporter covering primarily Latin American issues for The Epoch Times.
January 31, 2023Updated: January 31, 2023

Transparency International has released its 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index on Jan. 31 and the results were sobering. It showed little improvement for democratic institutions in 95 percent of the 180 countries and territories observed since 2017.

The index both scores and ranks perceived levels of corruption in the public sector on a zero to 100 scale, with zero considered the most corrupt on the score chart.

This year, the ranking for the United States sank alongside other nations, dropping from 27 to 24 year over year. Alongside the rank of 24, the United States scored a 69 on the index.

By comparison, Russia scored 28 and ranked 137. China scored 45 and was ranked at number 65.

“Corruption has made our world a more dangerous place. As governments have collectively failed to make progress against it, they fuel the current rise in violence and conflict and endanger people everywhere.

“The only way out is for states to do the hard work, rooting out corruption at all levels to ensure governments work for all people, not just an elite few,” Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International, said in a press statement.

The same countries topped the list of least corrupt for the second year in a row, with Denmark receiving the highest score (90). Finland and New Zealand followed closely, both with scores of 87.

At the bottom of the list of the most corrupt countries were South Sudan, Syria, and Somalia.

The global average in Corruption Perceptions Index (43) has remained unchanged for 11 years. The agency identifies more than two-thirds of surveyed countries as having a “serious problem” with corruption, with scores below 50.

Moreover, the annual reports highlight a continued slide into deeper corruption within the United States, some of which was fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. In its 202o analysis, the U.S. hit its lowest score in nearly a decade at 67.

“COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis,” Rubio said in a January 2021 statement.

Transparency International could not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment in time for the deadline.