The most corrupt countries, 2013 edition


revisionist modern data… relies on being the person(s) collecting and verifying. don’t think i believe it myself. pretty map though.


On their numerical chart, the US got a 73. Is that really worthy of a green only subtly different from Denmark’s 91?

You don’t give a student who gets a 73 on a test an A minus.


“Very clean” means that the corruption has been codified into law, so you can’t tell that it’s there.

My favorite tiny example of this (I saw it 20 years ago) was that in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, if you wanted to buy jeweled bearings with government money, you had to buy them from a particular supplier in South Dakota.


Rob, have you got the maps the right way around? I think the Red-Yellow-Green should be up top, and the Red-Yellow version should be below? It would match the text better.

No, it wouldn’t. Sorry, I fail at parsing tonight.

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“very clean” only warrants yellow

‘Very clean’ sounds a bit bloody optimistic for Australia, let alone the US or the UK.

Does this definition of corruption somehow exclude business as usual?


And yet, there’s the issue of pervasive government corruption. Great example: the Northern Gateway Pipeline in BC. Not to mention secret trade deals, like ACTA or TPP. Just because the corruption is institutionalized doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count.


Somalia, the Seattle Mariners of international government.

What? I don’t get it.


I find it hard to believe that the “small” acts of spite the UK government impose on their people counts as being “very clean”. Agree with everyone who says that we may need this definition of corruption explained again or revisited. But the map is nice.


Latin@s en Boing Boing- Let’s chat about why Chile gets a 72 like the USA while practically every country is in the 30’s or below. Who wants to go first?

Certainly Quebec was excluded from Canada to come up with such low corruption rate?

Well, for starters, the map doesn’t say that at all. On a scale of 0 (“very corrupt”) to 100 (“very clean”) the UK scores a 76.


I thought that was fascinating myself. Would love to see if there’s any correlation between the historic extent of Soviet/US influence on a country’s internal politics and current corruption.


Ugh. Please actually read the map/article before crowing about bias. Just because the scale maxes out at bright yellow/“very clean” doesn’t mean anything vaguely yellowish got a perfect score.

The US scores 73 out of 100, hardly an excellent grade. No country in the world scores higher than 91 (Denmark and New Zealand)–there’s clearly a fair bit of corruption even in the cleanest places. And if you’re ranting about how the USA (or your Western democracy of choice) is just dripping in corruption and should be at the bottom of the chart, ask yourself: when’s the last time you routinely bribed a government clerk, or a doctor, or a court officer–not even for special treatment, just as a basic condition of doing business? A lot of things are shitty here, but it can get much, much worse.


Yes. This is a measure of how corrupt citizens of a country PERCEIVE their government to be, not how corrupt the government actually IS. If the citizens don’t report on a survey that their politicians have blurred the line between the second oldest profession and the first, that country would still be counted as “very clean.”


Which is [quote=“Kimmo, post:6, topic:15531”]
‘Very clean’ sounds a bit bloody optimistic for Australia, let alone the US or the UK.
Which is why the article says no such thing. Australia, US, and UK scored 81, 76, and 73, respectively, out of 100.

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Good Lord, this comment thread makes me weep for data comprehension.


This site actually has some more solid data on corruption in different countries, although it’s based on self-reporting of incidents and only for a few countries.

I suppose it all depends upon the set of metrics one uses. Juan Cole provides a bracingly different look.


I, for one, look forward to the days machines take over the world and end corruption once and for all.