Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How corrupt is a country?

(This post was updated on 06/30/2014.)

There's a relatively easy way to find out. Transparency International is an organization that ranks countries using a Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Pre 2012, the index was a number from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean).  From 2012 onwards, the score goes from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
  • For 2011, New Zealand topped the list with a CPI of 9.5.
  • For 2012, Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand tied for first with a CPI of 90.
  • For 2013, Denmark and New Zealand tied for first with a CPI of 91.
Just for kicks, I decided to graph the historical data for the US since the index was first launched in 1995.  Note that from 2012, the score from 0 to 100 had to be normalized to go from 0 to 10 to match the older scale.

Here's how the CPI of the US has varied over the years.














And here's how the US has ranked over the years.













Kind of depressing since the country has gotten more corrupt since the inception of the index but, on the bright side, it's still within a fairly narrow band, and 2012 shows some improvement.

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