Every year, the NGO Transparency International ranks nations based on perceived corruption, with the least corrupt at the top. 100 is a perfect score and zero the worst.
This year, Denmark (88) and New Zealand (87) came first and second. Switzerland (85), Finland (85), Singapore (85) and Sweden (85) were third equal.
At the bottom were South Sudan (13), Syria (13) and Somalia (10).
Globally, progress has been mixed. Since 2012, 20 countries showed significant improvement, while 16 dropped significantly. Some of the decline has been brought about by authoritarian politicians undermining democratic institutions.
According to Patricia Moreira, Managing Director at Transparency International, “corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”
The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43.
The report reckons corruption is behind the crisis in democracy affecting much of the world. While there are exceptions, their data suggests that despite some progress, most countries are failing to make serious inroads against corruption.
Switzerland still has plenty of work to do according to the NGO. Weaknesses include controls around money laundering, protection of whistleblowers and dealing with corruption in private sport, said the NGO.
Switzerland’s rank and score remains unchanged from 2017.
Transparency International index (in English)