Transparency International’s released its annual index Thursday, finding that most countries showed little to no improvement in fighting corruption since last year. Somalia was ranked as the most corrupt country, while Denmark and New Zealand were found to be the least corrupt countries in the world.
The index ranks 180 countries and territories according to their levels of public sector corruption using a zero to 100 scale—zero being highly corrupt and 100 being no corruption present. The average score between the 180 countries and territories was 43. The United States scored 69, dropping two points since last year.
This year’s corruption index focused on the relationship between politics and money. There was a correlation found between transparency of campaign donations and corruption. Data showed the more transparent campaign donations were, the lower levels of corruption a country faced. Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International stated, “Governments must urgently aggress the corrupting role of big money in political party finance and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems.”
In addition, a correlation was also found between political decision making and corruption. The data indicated that the more individuals consulted in political decisions the less corruption a country endured. Managing Director of Transparency International Patricia Moreira commented, “to have any change of ending corruption and improving peoples’ lives, we must tackle the relationship between politics and big money. All citizen must be represented in decision-making .”
Transparency International states that Canada, Angola and Saudi Arabia are countries to watch as they are the countries whose indexes changed most significantly from last year’s index.