Transparency International have released their annual statistics ranking the countries of the world in order of corruption.
The UK scored as one of the top countries in the world for keeping business and government clean – rising four places since last year to come an impressive joint 10th place with Luxembourg and Germany.
Corruption is defined in this case as the abuse of power from people such as politicians and CEOs that benefits those involved, but leaves the overwhelming majority out of pocket and often out of work; inflicting massive damage on the communities that are often the worst off.
Of the 168 countries analysed, more than two-thirds scored below 50 on the scale, where 0 is highly corrupt, and 100 is not corrupt at all.
Whilst this figure is not a positive one, it should be noted that despite many not performing well at all, more countries saw their scores improve over the past year than decline.
Experts analysed aspects of public sector corruption such as how accountable their government is, or how free is a countries press to collect their data.
A poor score is reflective of bribery, countries where crimes of corruption go unpunished, and where the services intended to serve the public do not reflect their needs.
All of the top performers share many of the same positive characteristics, from openness in terms of public spending, a fair and honest judicial system, a free press that is able to report openly and honestly, away from government control as well as high levels of decency amongst those who have power such as CEOs and politicians.
Conversely, the characteristics shared by those who have the lowest scores are often countries torn apart by wars and conflicts, countries with little divide between the media and their governments – a well known characteristic of North Korea, one of the worst scoring countries – as well as poor public sector institutions such as schools, the judicial system and their police forces.
Denmark scored the highest for the second year running despite dropping a point with a score of 91, whereas North Korea and Somalia performing the worst, with scores of just eight points each.
Europe performed incredibly well, with four of the top five countries part of the continent. Britain has jumped ten places in the list in only five years, entering the top ten for the first time in eight years.
Other European countries such as Italy (61st) and France (23rd) performed better, moving up the list and gaining eight and three places respectively.
Brazil declined the most, falling seven positions to come 76th in the index.
The Petrobras scandal, which is still yet to fully unfold and caused riots in the streets would have undoubtedly affected its score, as Government owned oil giant Petrobras recieved bribes from construction firms when giving out contracts, with the money being transferred to top ranking government officials.
“Corruption can be beaten if we work together. To stamp out the abuse of power, bribery and shed light on secret deals, citizens must together tell their governments they have had enough,” said José Ugaz, Chairman of Transparency International.
“The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a blight around the world. But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption. People across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption,” he added.
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Take a look at the interactive map below to see more:
Featured Image via Transparency International