A new index has named Somalia the most corrupt country in the world, while Denmark is the least.
United States destination marketing organisations will be worrying as the US fell outside the top 20 least corrupt countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the first time since 2011. The US is in 22nd place, one behind France.
Germany and the UK were joint 11th in the new index.
The index, released by Transparency International, measures public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, using 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives to give each country a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
The 2018 index sees New Zealand in second place to Denmark, with 88 and 87 points respectively, while at the bottom is Somalia with 10, and Syria and South Sudan, both with 13.
More than two thirds of countries score below 50 in the index, with an average score of only 43.
This year’s index also showed a drop for the United States, which dropped four points to 71.
Zoe Reiter, Acting Representative to the US at Transparency International, said: “A four-point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.
“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally. This is a bipartisan issue that requires a bipartisan solution.”
Since 2012, 16 countries have significantly declined, including, Australia, Chile and Malta.
In 2016, the US was downgraded from a full to a flawed democracy in the Democracy Index and in 2018, the US received its lowest Freedom in the World Index score for political rights since 1972, when measurement began.
“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,” said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International.
A survey published by Transparency International in 2017 showed that nearly six in ten Americans believed the US was more corrupt than the previous year, with the White House considered the most corrupt institution in the US.