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The 10 Most Corrupt Countries, Ranked By Perception

CORRUPTION IS OFTEN IN the eye of the beholder, largely tied to individual beliefs about right and wrong.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is perceived to be the most corrupt in the world, according to data from the 2018 Best Countries rankings, a characterization of 80 countries based on a survey of more than 21,000 global citizens.

In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the 80 countries to the term “corrupt,” an adjective that has Merriam-Webster juggling definitions from “tainted or rotten” to “morally debased.” Respondents were given no further specifications of the term, so interpretation of the word was left to them.

“When you fight corruption, it fights back,” Nuhu Ribadu, the former chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said in a 2015 TedX talk in Berlin.

Colombia follows at No. 2, and Pakistan – a country accused of knowingly harboring the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Ladenwho died in 2011 – places third on the corruption index. Russia – the world’s largest nation, which has been accused of election meddling and Olympic doping – makes an appearance at No. 8, and Kenyaand Guatemala round out the top 10.

By comparison, the United States landed at No. 61 in the corruption ranks and Australia and Canada ranked No. 79 and No. 80, respectively, making them the countries viewed as the least corrupt.

Nigeria 1 76
Colombia 2 55
Pakistan 3 74
Iran 4 77
Mexico 5 31
Ghana 6 71
Angola 7 79
Russia 8 26
Kenya 9 57
Guatemala 10 66

Updated April 12, 2018: This list has been updated to reflect information from the 2018 Best Countries raMegan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media

Megan Trimble is an associate editor of social media for the News division at U.S. News & World  READ MORE




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