The Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 put the U.S. at number 22 – the worst ranking since 2011 and a drop from 16 in the 2017 report – right before France and just ahead of the United Arab Emirates. The watchdog group analyzes countries on a 100-point scale, drawing from more than a dozen surveys of businesspeople and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption.
Zoe Reiter, Transparency international’s acting spokesperson in the U.S., pointed the finger at the Trump presidency as a significant reason behind America's declining performance, highlighting “his lack of transparency regarding his assets, as well as his repeated attempts to undermine the Mueller investigations and attacks on the press.”
The report found that the top 10 least corrupt countries are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Canada, and Luxembourg.
The most corrupt country in the world was deemed to be Somalia, followed by Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, North Korea, Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Western Europe and the E.U. were the highest-scoring when it comes to being free from corruption, while sub-Saharan Africa ranked the lowest.
Overall, Transparency International painted a bleak picture when it comes to world governance – with the report underscoring that “the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.”