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13/09/2023 | The 10 Most Corrupt Countries, Ranked by Perception

Brianna Navarre

Russia is once again seen as the most corrupt country in a survey for U.S. News’ 2023 Best Countries rankings.


Which Countries Are Seen as Most Corrupt?

From undercutting democracy to stalling economic development, corruption has a “wide range of corrosive effects on societies,” former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a foreword to the organization’s Convention against Corruption, adopted in the early 2000s.

Two decades later, corruption remains a problem, with the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International indicating “most countries” have failed to stop it. The group defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”

According to U.S. News' 2023 Best Countries rankings, Russia is perceived as the world’s most corrupt country. The overall Best Countries analysis is based on a survey of more than 17,000 people across the globe, and assessed perceptions of 87 countries using 73 different attributes. In the survey, respondents answered whether they associated various countries with the word “corrupt,” per their own understanding of the term, and those perceptions were used to develop the open for business subranking of the 2023 Best Countries rankings. How corrupt a country was perceived to be also factored into lists of the best countries to invest in, the best countries to headquarter a corporation and the most transparent countries.

This marks the second year in a row that Russia tops the ranking as the world’s most corrupt country. The United States slid to No. 25 among the countries perceived as least corrupt, down two spots from No. 23 last year.

Here are the 10 countries seen as the most corrupt, according to survey respondents.

1 – Lebanon

Corrupt Ranking: 10

Open for Business Ranking: 81

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 85

2 – Bangladesh

Corrupt Ranking: 9

Open for Business Ranking: 30

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 69

3 - Belarus

Corrupt Ranking: 8

Open for Business Ranking: 85

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 86

4 - Myanmar

Corrupt Ranking: 7

Open for Business Ranking: 73

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 80

5 - El Salvador

Corrupt Ranking: 6

Open for Business Ranking: 67

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 74

6 - Zimbabwe

Corrupt Ranking: 5

Open for Business Ranking: 65

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 76

7 -  Mexico

Corrupt Ranking: 4

Open for Business Ranking: 63

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 33

8 - Colombia

Corrupt Ranking: 3

Open for Business Ranking: 76

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 60

9 - Iran

Corrupt Ranking: 2

Open for Business Ranking: 86

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 87

10 - Russia

Corrupt Ranking: 1

Open for Business Ranking: 87

Best Countries Overall Ranking: 37



US News (Estados Unidos)


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