Corruption Ranking: These Are The 10 Most Corrupt Countries In The World

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In 2013, Transparency International developed a comprehensive list of the world’s most corrupt nations. The study by the anti-corruption body ranked countries on a scale from 0 to 100, with zero being the most corrupt, and 100 being the least.

To give further detail and give proper meaning to what Transparency International put out, the Cheat Sheet explored the first ten countries that are said to be the most corrupt countries in the world with some insightful analysis.

Some of these first ten countries are said to have specific power structures and architectures that provide an easier means for corrupt politicians, businessmen, or military officials to exploit their countries. Others are ruled by a variety of independent tribal leaders, which lack a centralized power structure with any meaningful control. Below are the first ten most corrupt countries that we have sourced from the Cheat Sheet and Transparency International.

1

According to the ranking, Somalia occupies the number one position as the world’s most corrupt country. It scored 8 points on the index.  Somalia is a country in East Africa with no functioning government; according to the CIA Intelligence Report, the country is in the process of building a federal parliamentary republic. Ever since the United States failed, miserably I might add, to save Somalia from militants in what became known as the Black Hawk Down incident, the country has virtually fallen into the militants’ (known as Al Shabab) hands. There has also been a significant increase in pirate activity, capturing passing ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Due to the instability, no proper elections take place in Somalia. Parliamentarians are elected by tribal leaders and parliamentarians then elect a President. This makes information on the inner workings of Somalia’s government and its economic system very secretive. Corrupt officials are openly taking advantage of the chaos in the country to perpetrate their objectives. According to The World Bank, only 29% of the country’s population has been enrolled in school, and life expectancy is only 55 years.

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA - APRIL 02: Propaganda mural painting is seen outside People(degrees)?s Palace of Culture on April 2, 2011 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea and the population is about 2,500,000. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA – APRIL 02: Propaganda mural painting is seen outside People(degrees)?s Palace of Culture on April 2, 2011 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea and the population is about 2,500,000. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

North Korea placed second; it also scored 8 points. The power structure in North Korea is absolute dictatorship. Over the past half-century, the country has been ruled by dictators Kim Jong Sun and Kim Jong Il. Citizens refer these leaders as Supreme Leaders. North Korea’s government operates in secrecy with few people having access to the top. The country has had problems producing enough fuel and food to properly care for its citizens. The country spends more resources on its military than on social issues. Western observers have predicted that with little hope for change in the near future, North Korea is destined to remain one of the world’s most corrupt and impoverish countries.

Sudanese wave national flags as they gather outside the Defence Ministry in the capital Khartoum on April 20, 2012 to celebrate retaking the oil town of Heglig from South Sudanese forces. Border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan escalated last week with waves of air strikes hitting the South, and Juba seizing the north's Heglig oil hub on April 10. AFP PHOTO/ASHRAF SHAZLY (Photo credit should read ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

The third most corrupt country is the Republic of Sudan. Sudan scored 11 points in the ranking. The North African country has been wreathed in war for many years. Long-standing conflicts between competing factions and ethnic groups have destabilized the country’s ability to efficiently operate from an economic standpoint. The result has been devastating to many of the country’s citizens. South Sudan has also recently broken-off from the rest of the country, taking with it its vast oil reserves.  The country’s government is listed as a federal republic, ruled by the National Congress Party (NCP). The NCP came to power after a coup d’état in 1989, and has not been able to successfully repair the country’s social problems ever since. According to The World Bank, 64.5% of its citizens live under the poverty line. Its GDP stands at $66.55 billion. According to observers, these statistics were likely to see improvement in recent years, if not for some of the draconian and growth-inhibiting policies of the ruling government led by President Omar Al Bashir.

4

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan scored 12 points, placing fourth. Afghanistan has a long history of instability. The country has been loosely held together by a central government that largely lacks power. Various militant groups have taken advantage and run areas under their jurisdictions according to their whims and caprices. It is also said that the previous President of the country, Hamid Karzai was very corrupt. He has been fingered in a recent report for allegedly taking huge sums of money from the American military in order to allow them to access and combat militants. What this says about the American military is another question entirely.

Afghanistan is also home to an enormous amount of the world’s heroin production which has brought lots of wealth to a few corrupt people. The CIA describes the country as “Criminality, insecurity, weak governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government’s difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth.” Also, let’s not forget an American invasion just prior that somehow created this situation almost in its entirety.

ISRAEL OUT South Sudanese migrants wave their national flag as they wait to board a bus to Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, where they will be deported to south Sudan on June 17, 2012. Some 120 people from Southern Sudan will take the first flight back home as part of a nationwide crackdown to expel thousands of illegal African migrants from Israel. AFP PHOTO / OREN ZIV / ACTIVE STILLS (Photo credit should read OREN ZIV/AFP/GettyImages)

The fifth most corrupt country is the youngest country in Africa, South Sudan. It scored 15 points. South Sudan officially declared its independence in 2011, following long-standing conflicts with its parent country, the Republic of Sudan. Wars in the region have resulted in the deaths of as many as 2.5 million people. Because the country is young, it does not have the traditional long-standing government structures in place that many others do. This has opened the way for corrupt politicians to step in, and as a result, the country has remained mostly undeveloped, and its citizens participate in a largely subsistence-based economic system. Another issue is the lack of a sense of nationhood among the 200 or so ethnic groups occupying the country. The World Bank states that 80% of the country’s GDP is from oil. South Sudan has vast oil reserves and observers say that this “strength” has turned out to be a major problem, as international oil companies have been able to take advantage of the country’s weak government structures and regulatory policies, turning huge profits at the expense of the citizens. It is said that 85% of the country’s workforce is engaged in non-paid labor, and more than half live below the poverty line.

6

Iraq scored 16 points and placed sixth. Ever since the invasion of the country in 2003 by the United States, the country has been in total chaos. And to worsen the situation, the US’ pullout has created a huge power vacuum. Many different militants are fighting for power; fighting is said to be occurring between the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunnis. Recently, the arrival of ISIS has even led to fear that the country will soon collapse. Corruption has been entrenched in the country. The country’s vast oil reserves have made it a target for war profiteers; these even include the US Government. The Cheat Sheet predicts that “the future of Iraq is probably as uncertain as any country in the world. It’s very possible that the nation will dissolve and turn into three distinct countries, as it was before Europeans entered the fray in the early 20th century”.

Soldiers raise the national flag during a military parade marking Turkmenistan's Independence Day, in Ashgabat on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

The seventh most corrupt country is Turkmenistan. It scored 17 points on the index. Turkmenistan is situated in a dangerous region. Bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and due to the constant turmoil in the area, it’s been very easy for the country to fall to corrupt officials. The country’s authoritarian leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, is said to be very corrupt; According to the CIA, Turkmenistan describes itself as a secular democracy and presidential republic but its government is an authoritarian dictatorship. The country was founded as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting power struggle has left the nation vulnerable. Its economy is largely based on agriculture and energy. It has vast oil and natural gas reserves, which is all strictly controlled by corrupt government officials.

8....

The Republic of Uzbekistan scored 18 points, becoming the eighth most corrupt country. The country’s GDP grew by 8% in 2013, and The World Bank reports that its economy has resisted the impact of the financial crisis, which has crippled systems in Europe and North America. Despite its economic growth and resiliance, the government is being led by an authoritative presidential figure, Islam Karimov. He has concentrated power into his own hands.

Karimov has been president ever since Uzbekistan first became a country, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. He has promoted his family to key positions in the country. The government is said to have been bribing and using tax incentives to attract Multinational Corporations, which then connive with the government to dupe the country’s people of huge sums of monies. Many citizens are left with nothing to eat or drink.

9

Libya was ranked the ninth most corrupt country. It too scored 18 points. Libya, once a peaceful country under Muammar Gaddafi, has been turned into a hub of corruption and all manner of sordid affairs. After Western Governments, rebels and the Arab League conspired to remove Gaddafi (who had distributed the country’s wealth fairly to all citizens), no formal government has been able to govern the country. The World Bank reports that the GDP of Libya had contracted by 9.4% in 2013. The power vacuum is said to have created an opportunity for arms dealers and corrupt military higher-ups who took charge of their respective factions, making profits by pitting citizens against each other. Its weak institutions are now under constant interference from foreign governments. There is no doubt that Libya was far better under Gaddafi than its current state, from one of Africa’s most prosperous it has been turned into a haven for terrorists, extremists and human traffickers.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: An Eritrean demonstrator waves his national flag whist taking part in a demonstration on Whitehall on April 30, 2012 in London, England. The protesters were demanding that Britain stops selling arms to Ethiopia, their neighboring country, and for Ethiopian nationals to leave Eritrea. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Single-Party Presidential Democratic nation of Eritrea in Africa was raked the tenth most corrupt country. It also scored 18 points, like Libya and Uzbekistan. Many people may have not heard of Eritrea, let alone be aware of the corruption that plagues the country.

Eritrea is located in Africa, bordering the Red Sea, and is situated directly across from Saudi Arabia, bordering Djibouti to the south and Sudan to the north. Eritrea is a small and relatively poor country, with a GDP of only $3.44 billion, and a population of 6.3 million. After years of relative self-imposed isolation, Eritrea has begun opening its borders to foreign business and investment, along with privatization of state-owned assets. This has allowed for some corrupt officials to take advantage of their positions for personal profit. With undeveloped legal, economic, and political framework, the country has had a lot of trouble finding a stable foothold in the international community.


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65 COMMENTS

      • Here is my top list of big powers which are certainly corrupt!
        1. USA empire with Five eyes alliance. –Has most of the nukes in the entire world and is able to end all life on earth with the go ahead from an elite group of money hoarders and their presidents.

        2. China with all the money and manufacturing. –Ruined their soils, rivers and pretty much poisoned their land with industrialization. Now off to buy some more land and coal to burn on it.

        3. Russia with the drug problems. –The new western democracy means they are ready to go and search for some clean oil and natural gas. The fossils are fun to mine and burn with similar scrambles for this “future energy” as the western countries do in their own destructive ways. We need to pay for the heroin somehow

        • 1. If USA were corrupt, they would’ve nuked literally all of their enemies, which they don’t. They try to save as many innocent as possible, although it doesn’t always seem that way-

          2. China is indeed one of the most CO2 bombs in the world, however that’s because of the density of the population, cause per citizen, they’re one of the top 10 least poluting

          3. (y)

        • My friend, i live in Russia. Your information is incorrect or out of date.
          Realy Russia did have problems with drugs after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
          It was a deliberate action on the part of interested international corporations to lower the living standards of people to buy cheap industry and oil fields.
          It was really so. In 1991-1999. But now, young people rarely even smokes marijuana. Heroin is not common at all. Among the elites it found cocaine, but no more than in other countries. The law drugs are not separated by species, and the punishment for trafficking from 7 to 25 years in prison.
          Trust me, in Thailand and Cambodia to buy drugs is much easier than in Russia. I’m not talking about the Netherlands, where the Russian travel revel))
          In Russia now very popular healthy lifestyle. It is called HLS (ЗОЖ)

    • See, India is really not as horrible as these above mentioned nations. It ranks 85th out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Trust me guys, India is not so bad. Me being in Bangalore, I feel that the police force and other government services are totally acceptable.

  1. How about those ‘holier-than-thou’ countries where political donors are more influential than the voice of the people? Is there any greater corruption of democracy than political donations? What kind of a democracy requires a potential leader to have a war chest of a billion dollars?

  2. The most corrupt are those ‘holier than thou’ developed economy nations who permit political donations. What kind of a democracy is it when political donors influence policy? There is no more corrupt country than one which requires potential leaders to have a war chest of a billion dollars.

  3. I for one agree with the list pretty much every country is courpt to a certain extent but some countries are just crazier and more bold then other such as the US this country is very corrupt but the shape its in isn’t as bad as the ones on this list.

  4. Why isn’t the United States on this list? If corruption means, negative effects on both citizens of their own country, and those of other countries, for the financial gain of certain persons or organizations, – then the U.S. is a major culprit. The plutocrats of the military/industrial/congressional complex and Wall Street, along with the Kochs, the Waltons, Addelson, their ilk, and their political toadies, are inherently corrupt.

  5. Damn it.. where is phhillipines? Send us y
    Our bank account number. We give you what you want just put us on the top list! Lmao !!!!

  6. I think there should be a country named Bangladesh on the top of the list cuz government kills about millions of people by its party and police….one of my friend from there said, no law, no security, no job without being a member of ruling party, its easy to kill, rob, rape anyone and police will help you if you’re from gov. party…even police do all of those…no media is allowed to publish any news any of ’em….an so so…and I’m planing a huge cyber attack for the gov… 🙂

  7. Well corruption is everywhere to be honest its built inside the democracy system anyways so most of these Which country is most corrupt doesnt even matter .

  8. Albania has the most corrupt politian ….1000 % …they sell the country every day ….if you can get inside their bank acounts thay have bilion of euros …..Make one operation in Albani

  9. Are u guys fucking serious????You really want your country to be in this list…wow just wow…!!!you guys are the real patriots.. Stop Complaining and do something about the corruption…

  10. Where is Finland? It’s definetly very rotten and corrupt country. Our politicians keep punishing the working and middle class. And even those who are poor. Rich get richer and everyone else looses. And public figures keep getting away with crimes without prosecution/conviction just because they are rich or public figures. So yeah, this country is rotten from inside. How I know this? I live here. I hate what this country had become.

  11. Ask your selves this , who funds transparency international ?? I wonder what their agenda is ?? every ask your selves how they would gain information about places like north korea ?? No westerners are allowed there , or any foreigner . This is just another front for the Muricans , pure and simple !

  12. Brazil is really corrupt as well … It may not seem so if you live outside of it and does not have to work around 5 out of 12 month a year just to pay taxes which are NOT converted in proer education, health and safety.
    Maybe if you live outside of brazil and come here as a turist all may seen wonderful … after all If you live in the EG USA and you come here you are instantly rich cause the dollar is 4 by 1 of the local currency.

    A sad brazilian

    • London is also a city and Saudis are the people (of Saudi Arabia), not a country. Same thing goes for Israelis. Also, there is no country called Jordon.
      Some countries may be “dirty birds”, but not necessarily corrupt.

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