Somalia, South Sudan and Syria have been ranked the world’s most corrupt nations in an international report.
Denmark, New Zealand and Finland topped the list of ‘clean’ countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index released by Watchdog group Transparency International.
The table measures perceived public-sector corruption in 180 nations and uses a scale on which 100 is seen as very clean and zero is very corrupt.
The report urged governments to address problems with political party financing as it emerged the US and several other leading superpowers are struggling to keep up momentum in the fight against corruption.
America’s score of 69 was two points lower than a year earlier and its worst score for eight years, Transparency International said. The US was ranked 23rd, a one-place drop from last year.
The report cited challenges including ‘threats to its system of checks and balances’ and ‘the ever-increasing influence of special interests in government.’ It also noted the launching of impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump.
The top ranking countries are New Zealand and Denmark, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85)
The average regional scores, with top and bottom performers in each region
The index is calculated using 13 different data sources that provide perceptions of public sector corruption from business people and country experts.
According to the report, released on Thursday, the most corrupt nation went to Somalia, with just nine points.
South Sudan, Syria and Yemen finished just above it, behind a group of countries sharing 173rd place that included Afghanistan and Venezuela.
Denmark, last year’s top performer, was joined in a tie for first place this time by New Zealand. Both had 87 points. They were followed closely by Finland.
Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland tied for fourth. Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany and Luxembourg – tied for ninth – completed the top 10
Canada lost four points to 77, placing 12th. It tied with Britain, which lost three points – as did France, which tied with the U.S.
Of the other countries in the Group of Seven leading industrial powers, Germany and Japan, which ranked 20th, were static, while only Italy gained one point to 53, putting it in 51st place.
More than two-thirds of countries around the world scored below 50 and the average score was only 43, Transparency International said. It said countries that perform well on the index have stronger enforcement of campaign-finance regulations.