Most, Least Corrupt Nations

North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia fare worst in annual rankings

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 5, 2012 12:41 PM CST

(Newser) – Surprise, surprise: North Korea is perceived as highly corrupt, according to Transparency International's annual rankings. The group gave 176 nations a score from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Here's a look at some of the findings:

  • Afghanistan and Somalia tied North Korea for last place, each scoring a measly 8 points, reports CNBC.

  • The US did slightly better than its worst-ever score last year with 74 points, making it 19th on the list. That puts it behind other nations like Hong Kong (77), Germany (79), and Canada and the Netherlands, which tied for 9th at 84.
  • New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland are the most spic-and-span countries. They top the list with 90 points apiece.
  • The eurozone economic crisis has caused some nations to take a hit in the 2012 rankings, most notably Greece, which fell 14 slots to 94th place with 36 points, the BBC points out. That makes it the most corrupt in the EU.
  • Across the board, the outlook is pretty depressing for dear old Planet Earth: More than two-thirds of the countries ranked below 50.

Kim Jong Un, leader of one of the most corrupt nations, waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square.
Kim Jong Un, leader of one of the "most corrupt" nations, waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)
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