101 countries ranked according to perceptions of corruption in business, government

by Steve Crabtree and Nicole Naurath

PRINCETON,
NJ — Endemic corruption is one of the greatest impediments to
stability and growth for many poor countries that might otherwise be
looking to current international trends — the spread of information
technology, debt forgiveness for developing nations, economic
globalization — with great hope. The uncertainty posed by
institutional corruption makes tapping into those trends difficult,
curtailing much-needed foreign investment and aid opportunities.But
far more costly is the effect corruption has on the residents in these
countries: It diminishes their faith in the country’s leadership.
It reduces their incentive to work hard, making entrepreneurial efforts
and civic engagement less likely. Perhaps most fundamentally, it robs
them of the sense that they can control their own destinies.With
the launch of the Gallup World Poll, respondents in more than 100
nations around the globe are being asked for their opinions in a
variety of areas — but perhaps none is more important than their
likelihood to feel corruption is common in their countries. The 2006
Gallup Corruption Index is calculated from the responses in 101
countries to two simple questions:

  • Is corruption widespread throughout the government in your country?
  • Is corruption widespread within businesses located in your country?

The resulting scores range from 12 in Finland, which is something of a
model society in terms of the trust its residents place in their basic
institutions, to 94 in the former Soviet republic of Lithuania.

The countries included in the 2006 Index are ranked from the lowest score,
indicating the population least likely to perceive corruption as
widespread, to the highest.

Rank Country

Index Score

1

Finland

12

2

Denmark

21


New Zealand

21

4

Singapore

22

5

Saudi Arabia

25

6

United Kingdom

36


Norway

36


Switzerland

36

9

Australia

37

10

Sweden

39

11

Austria

44


Ireland

44

13

Uruguay

45

14

Vietnam

47

15

Canada

49

16

Netherlands

51

17

Belgium

53

18

Uzbekistan

54

19

United States

59


Tanzania

59


Chile

59

22

Madagascar

60

23

Greece

61

24

Cyprus

62


Slovenia

62

26

Jordan

63


France

63


Belarus

63

29

Iran

65

30

Japan

66

31

Venezuela

68


Botswana

68


Georgia

68

34

Afghanistan

69

35

Guatemala

70


Malaysia

70

37

Spain

71


Dominican Republic

71


Estonia

71

40

Benin

72


Senegal

72

42

Brazil

73

43

South Africa

74


Niger

74


South Korea

74


Burkina Faso

74


Bolivia

74

48

Germany

75


Mexico

75


Mali

75


Mozambique

75

52

Uganda

76


Zambia

76


Togo

76

55

Ethiopia

77


El Salvador

77

57

Bangladesh

78


Costa Rica

78


Colombia

78

60

Ghana

79


Cambodia

79


Portugal

79

63

Sri Lanka

80

64

Turkey

81


India

81


Philippines

81


Honduras

81


Nicaragua

81

69

Czech Republic

82


Palestine

82


Sierra Leone

82


Argentina

82


Armenia

82

74

Pakistan

83


Nigeria

83


Angola

83


Paraguay

83

78

Hungary

84


Kyrgyzstan

84

80

Nepal

85


Puerto Rico

85

82

Italy

86


Kenya

86

84

Israel

87

85

Indonesia

88


Zimbabwe

88


Peru

88

88

Moldova

89


Ecuador

89


Latvia

89


Panama

89


Slovakia

89

93

Morocco

90


Romania

90


Russia

90


Ukraine

90


Cameroon

90

98

Thailand

91

99

Lebanon

93


Poland

93

101

Lithuania

94

Index Scores Related to Leadership Approval, Satisfaction With Freedom

Comparing confidence and optimism levels in countries that rank high on the list with those that rank close to the bottom reveals striking differences. Among the top 10 countries on the list, a majority of residents, 55%, say they have confidence in the country’s leadership; among the bottom 10 countries the figure is about one-third (32%). Across the top 10 countries, 84% of residents say people in their countries are able to
get ahead by working hard; in the bottom 10 countries, that number drops to 58%.

There is also a strong connection between Index scores and respondents’ sense of their personal freedom. Ninety-two percent of residents in the top 10 countries say they are satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives, compared with just 65% of those in the bottom 10 countries on the list.

Gallup Index Correlates Strongly With Other Corruption Measures

To test the validity of the Gallup Corruption Index, the scores were
correlated with two widely referenced sources on corruption in business
and government:

  • Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which compiles surveys with country experts and business leaders
  • results from three survey questions addressing corruption in the
    World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, which includes
    responses from approximately 11,000 executives in 125 countries

In each case, strong correlations (r = .70 or higher) were found. Eight of
the top 10 countries in the Gallup Corruption Index also appear in the
top 10 of Transparency International’s 2006 Index.

Gallup’s Index, however, is set apart by its consistency. Gallup supervises all
the data collection using identical methodological standards. In every
country, samples are designed to be representative of the entire
population, rather than just urban residents or other subpopulations.
Thus, the Gallup Corruption Index represents the true likelihood of
residents countrywide to perceive widespread corruption.

Survey Methods

Results are based on interviews with randomly selected national samples of
approximately 1,000 adults who are permanent residents in the 101
nations surveyed in 2005 and 2006. For results based on these samples,
one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to
sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition
to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in
conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of
public opinion polls.

The Gallup Corruption Index is calculated using the responses to two questions:

  • Is corruption widespread throughout the government in your country?
  • Is corruption widespread within businesses located in your country?

Scores are derived from the ratio of affirmative to negative responses (with
“don’t know” responses or refusals removed from the analysis).