10 Most corrupt countries in the world (2024)

Corruption is a major problem that affects societies across the globe, hindering economic growth, political stability, and social development. Unfortunately, there are still many countries where corruption is rampant, leading to dire consequences for their citizens.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world, based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

Corruption Perception Index (CPI)

The CPI is an economic tool for measuring corruption growth in a country. The tool analyses varying sectors and areas of a country and ranks with an overall corruption percentage called the Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The CPI is measured using an overall percentage (100%) score: the lower the CPI, the more corrupt the nation is and the higher the CPI, the less corrupt the nation. For instance, a country with a CPI of 25 is more corrupt than a country with a 53 CPI.

The world’s most corrupt countries

RankCountryCorruption Perception IndexContinent
1.Somalia12Africa
2.Syria13Asia
3.South Sudan13Africa
4.Venezuela14South America
5.Yemen 16Asia
6.North Korea17Asia
7.Burundi17Africa
8.Haiti17North America
9.Libya17Africa
10.Equatorial Guinea17Africa

1. Somalia

CPI: 12

Somalia is ranked the most corrupt country on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 12 out of 100. Despite being ranked as the most corrupt country in the world for several years running, Somalia has shown gradual progress, achieving a score of 9 in 2019, 12 in 2020, and 13 in 2021.

This East African country has been plagued by conflict and instability for decades, which has made it difficult to establish strong governance and accountability mechanisms. Corruption is rampant in Somalia, and it affects all levels of society, including the government, civil society, and the private sector.

2. Syria

CPI: 13

Syria is ranked second on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 13 out of 100. The ongoing civil war in Syria has created a situation where corruption is rampant. The government has been accused of corruption in the allocation of resources, and the conflict has allowed militias to engage in corrupt activities.

Additionally, the international sanctions imposed on Syria have created a situation where corruption has become even more widespread.

3. South Sudan

CPI: 13

South Sudan is ranked the third most corrupt country in the world according to the 2022 CPI, with a score of just 13 out of 100. This African country has been in a state of civil war for several years, which has significantly contributed to its poor performance in the CPI.

The country has a weak government and a lack of accountability mechanisms, which allows corruption to flourish. Corruption is widespread in South Sudan and affects all aspects of society, including the judiciary, police, and military.

4. Venezuela

CPI: 14

Venezuela is ranked fourth on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 14 out of 100. The country has been in a state of political and economic crisis for several years, which has contributed to the high level of corruption in the country.

The government has been accused of corruption in the allocation of resources, including oil revenues, and the country’s judicial system is not independent, which makes it difficult to hold corrupt officials accountable.

5. Yemen

CPI: 16

Yemen is ranked fifth on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 16 out of 100. The country has been in a state of conflict and instability for several years, which has created an environment where corruption is rampant. Corruption in Yemen affects all levels of society, including the government, police, military, and the private sector.

Additionally, the lack of accountability mechanisms and weak governance structures have allowed corruption to flourish in the country.

6. North Korea

CPI: 17

North Korea is ranked sixth on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 17 out of 100 just above Yemen. The country is a dictatorship, and the government exercises strict control over all aspects of society. Corruption is prevalent in North Korea, and it affects all levels of society.

The country’s lack of transparency and accountability mechanisms makes it difficult to accurately assess the level of corruption in the country.

7. Burundi

CPI: 17

Burundi is ranked seventh on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 17 out of 100. The country has been in a state of political and social unrest for several years, which has contributed to the high level of corruption in the country.

Corruption affects all aspects of society in Burundi, including the government, police, and military. The lack of accountability mechanisms and weak governance structures have allowed corruption to flourish in the country.

8. Haiti

CPI: 17

Haiti is ranked eighth on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 17 out of 100. The country has been in a state of conflict and instability for several years, which has created an environment where corruption is widespread.

The lack of accountability mechanisms and weak governance structures have allowed corruption to flourish in Haiti, and it affects all levels of society.

9. Libya

CPI: 17

Libya is ranked ninth on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 17 out of 100. The country has been in a state of conflict and instability since the fall of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Corruption is widespread in Libya, and it affects all levels of society.

The lack of accountability mechanisms and weak governance structures have allowed corruption to flourish in the country.

10. Equatorial Guinea

CPI: 17

Equatorial Guinea is ranked tenth on the 2022 CPI, with a score of 17 making her tie with Libya. The country is one of the richest in Africa due to its oil and gas reserves, but the wealth has not been shared equally among the population.

The government has been accused of corruption in the allocation of resources, and political opposition is often suppressed. Additionally, the country lacks transparency and accountability mechanisms, which makes it difficult to hold corrupt officials accountable.

Conclusion

Corruption continues to plague many countries, stifling progress and harming citizens. The top 10 most corrupt countries in the world, including South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, North Korea, Haiti, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, and Burundi, are facing serious challenges due to the rampant corruption in their systems.

Addressing corruption requires concerted efforts from government officials, civil society, and the private sector. With increased transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption measures, these countries can overcome their challenges and build more just and equitable societies.

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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