Let's be real, you guys. Lists are delightful, especially when they involve cat memes and Frozen gifs. This particular list, however, might tick some people off. Transparency International's 2014 most corrupt countries list ranks 175 countries, from least corrupt to most corrupt. Luckily for the U.S., we managed to score the 17th least corrupt country. Other countries ranked at 17 are Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, and Finland.
The big baddies are, arguably, the more interesting part of the list. Leading the list as the most corrupt countries are Somalia, North Korea, Sudan, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. No surprises there, really, if I'm being honest, but it's still interesting to think about when its quantified like that.
Transparency International, whose annual lists are considered the most respected corruption metrics around, based their list on a number of surveys and assessments weighing in on the corruption of the public sector of each country, and then rates them by comparing and contrasting them with each other.
José Ugaz, Chairman of Transparency International, wrote:
Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.
Reuters made the very good point that Turkey and China both suffered major drops this year, which has to be a real kick in the pants for both countries.
The organization believes corruption is a problem in every country, regardless of score, and that every country has some thing(s) they can and ought to address, whether it is in the government or the media. That accusation is alone to make anyone get defensive, but they probably have a point. It's more or less a law of human nature that where there is power, there is usually someone who is abusing it. So, even the countries with the most pristine records probably have a few things to be embarrassed about.
Ideally, every country, regardless of where they fall on this list, would take it as a impetus to investigate their public sectors and weed out corruption. But that's pretty optimistic thinking, so, let's just hope at least most corrupt countries will take the hint. Even then, If I'm using history as a guide, they probably won't. Still, a girl can hope, right?
You can check out the interactive map below: