The world's most corrupt countries

North Korea protestPA

The expenses scandal rocked the UK. As politicians revamped and flipped their homes like there was no tomorrow, we were treated to a shocking litany of outlandish expenditure heaped upon the taxpayer - from thousand pound beds to moat clearance. We started to wonder whether we would be able to have any faith at all in our ruling elite ever again.

But we don't know we're born. If this is what constitutes a breach of trust in the UK, then we're incredibly lucky, because elsewhere in the world corruption riddles government on an epic scale.
A recent study revealed that two thirds of countries in the world are considered considerably corrupt.

Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is considered a benchmark of corruption. It scores corruption on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the least corrupt. Anything with a 5 or less is considered to be corrupt at its heart.

Most corrupt

The most corrupt countries were Somalia and North Korea, which scored just one on the scale. It is no coincidence that corruption goes hand in hand with unstable governments and conflict. It's one reason why Afghanistan and Myanmar were next with 1.5%.

Corruption was one of the driving forces behind the Arab Spring uprisings this year. Most of the countries which faced violent demonstrations and regime change are in the lower half of the index, and most have scores below 4. Egypt, for example, was 112th, with a score of 2.9.

Meanwhile, in Europe, as the level of self-delusional overspending becomes clear, it's interesting to note that the countries affected by the financial crisis are getting lower scores each year. Greece, for example, got a corruption score of 3.4 - compared to 3.5 last year, 3.8 the year before and 4.8 the year before that.

Italy, meanwhile, has fallen from a 4.8 in 2008 to a 3.9 this year - and takes 69th place in the table - after counties such as Rwanda, Oman, Georgia and Kuwait.

Least corrupt

At the other end of the scale were peaceful countries. The least corrupt country was named as New Zealand, with a score of 9.5. It was followed by Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Singapore, all with scores over 9.

UK

The UK holds relatively steady in 16th place - joint equal with Austria and Barbados. It has a score of 7.8, which is actually an increase from previous years. It scored 7.6 last year and 7.7 the two years previously.

So what do you think? Do these scores come as a surprise, does the UK deserve its place? Let us know in the comments.

Least corrupt

New Zealand 9.5
Denmark 9.4
Finland 9.4
Sweden 9.3
Singapore 9.2
Norway 9
Netherlands 8.9
Switzerland 8.8
Australia 8.8
Canada 8.7
Luxembourg 8.5
Hong Kong 8.4
Iceland 8.3
Germany 8
Japan 8
Austria 7.8
Barbados 7.8
UK 7.8

Most corrupt

North Korea 1
Somalia 1
Afghanistan 1.5
Myanmar 1.5
Uzbekistan 1.6
Turkmenistan 1.6
Sudan 1.6
Iraq 1.8
Haiti 1.8
Burundi 1.9
Equatorial Guinea 1.9
Venezuela 1.9
Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS