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BERLIN: January 29, 2019. The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from Transparency International shows the US has declined four points to 71 since last year, dropping out of the CPI top 20 countries for the first time since 2011.

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

2018 CPI Globa MapDenmark and New Zealand top the latest Index with 88 and 87 points respectively while Somalia, South Sudan and Syria are at the bottom with 10, 13 and 13 points. Brazil has fallen two points since last year to 35, earning its lowest CPI score in seven years.

Other countries with an Index score of 80 or better are Finland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany and the UK.

“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director of TI. “Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption,” she added.

The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring regions are Sub-Saharan Africa, averaging 32, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia with an average of 35.

“Our research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption,” explained Delia Ferreira Rubio, TI chair. “Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage.”

 

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