Transparency International (TI) released the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index last week, which measured the perceived level of corruption in 183 countries and territories based on data from 17 international surveys. The index scores each country on a scale from zero (most corrupt) to 10 (least corrupt). According to the results, two thirds of the countries scored in the bottom half of the scale and are therefore considered as significantly corrupt.
This year’s edition ranked New Zealand, Finland and Denmark at the top and Somalia and North Korea at the very bottom. A general trend to be observed is that many countries with the lowest scores are failed states or conflict-ridden countries, such as Sudan, Iraq and Haiti.
In its press release, TI called attention for the relevance of this index in 2011, when protests motivated by corruption and economic challenges multiplied all over the world. The Arab countries that experienced uprisings, for instance, scored below 4. European countries most affected by the current economic crisis, such as Greece and Italy, are also among the worst performers in their region.
Regarding the methodology used to put together this index, TI reminds users that it does not allow for comparisons of a country’s scores with results from previous years.
Read the press release “2011 – A crisis in governance: Protests that marked 2011 show anger at corruption in politics and public sector” and access interactive resources on the 2011 CPI’s page.