Saturday, November 21, 2009

What countries appeared most/least corrupt in 2009?

 Scanning the list from best to worst, here's what strikes me about the rankings of countries in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index for 2009:*
  • The top ten least corrupt are the Nordic countries, plus New Zealand (#1), Canada, and Australia.  (Netherlands isn't exactly Nordic, but it comes in at #6.  Singapore (#3) is perceived as the least corrupt country in all of Asia.
  • The US (home to Delaware) and UK (protector of Jersey) just barely make the top twenty.
  • Three Gulf states are perceived as less corrupt than Israel (#32)
  • The big countries of Eastern Europe  -- Hungary, Czech, Poland (#46-52) -- are believed to be more corrupt than any country in East Asia outside of China.
  • Turkey (#61) and Italy (#63)are perceived as being almost equally corrupt, but Turkey (still considered unfit to join the EU) ranks higher than both Italy and dismally-ranking Greece which is tied with Romania at #71.
  • China (#79) and India (#84) rank similarly on corruption.    India is tied with Thailand.
  • In South America, Chile is #25 (ahead of Spain) but neighboring Argentina is #105.  (As we saw with the English speaking world, the "colonials" seem to be outranking the "mother countries" on this survey).
  • Egypt has the same perceived level of corruption as Indonesia (#111), but the "land of baksheesh" is perceived as being less corrupt than Lebanon (#130) and Syria (#126) and even Vietnam (#120).
  • Pakistan and Philippines are tied at #139.
  • Zimbabwe is tied with Russia at #146.
  • Laos and Cambodia are tied at #158.
  • America is trying to win wars in two of the five most corrupt countries in the world.  (Iraq and Afghanistan's rank prior to America's invasions could not have been any lower.)
* ASEAN countries names are in bold. At Jot ASEAN I posted a short list that includes only Southeast Asian countries.

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