26 January 2017
Transparency International (TI) has released the Corruption Perception Index for 2016.  The index is computed with the rating given by country experts and business people. The least corrupt 10 countries are:
New Zealand
Finland
Sweden
Switzerland
Norway
Singapore
Netherlands
Canada
Germany
Luxembourg
The report notes that the higher-ranked countries tend to have greater degrees of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials, and independent judicial systems. The report adds that the higher-ranked countries are not immune to closed-door deals, conflicts of interest, illicit finance, and patchy law enforcement that can distort public policy and exacerbate corruption at home and abroad. Therefore they can’t afford to be complacent, but have to be vigilant all the time.
On the other end of the scale, the most corrupt 10 countries are:
Venezuela
Guinea-Bissau
Afghanistan
Libya
Sudan
Yemen
Syria
Korea (North)
South Sudan
Somalia
The lower-ranked countries are plagued by untrustworthy and badly functioning public institutions like the police and judiciary. In practice, anti-corruption laws are often skirted or ignored. People frequently face situations of bribery and extortion, rely on basic services that have been undermined by the misappropriation of funds, and confront official indifference when seeking redress from authorities that are on the take.
Populist politicians often make promises to take back corrupt government institutions and put the power in the hands of people. Instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems. Corruption has been known to increase under their watch in those countries.
Turkey and Hungary moved downward in their rank in conjunction with the rise of populist politicians. Argentina improves slightly in score following the ousting of a populist President Cristina Fern√°ndez de Kirchner.
TI ranks 176 countries in their report. The full report is here. You may browse it to find out the rank of the country of your choice.