The Three Least Corrupt Countries In The World

sweden

Photo: Flickr/NatalieMaynor

Transparency International released its annual 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and war-wracked Somalia and Afghanistan along with isolated North Korea sit at the bottom of the list while Denmark, Finland and New Zealand share the top spot.Both Denmark and Finland are based on the Nordic welfare state model, while New Zealand has developed into a free market economy in which welfare is provided mostly on the basis of need.

Transparency International noted that fighting corruption “involves public participation and transparency mechanisms such as disclosure of information,” and all three countries perform well in terms of government openness and effectiveness.

Finland, Denmark and New Zealand all have high GDP per capita, low inequality rates, literacy rates close to 100 press, and prioritise human right issues such as gender equality and freedom of information.

It’s important to note that the CPI only gauges the corruption of administrative and political institutions as opposed to including societal or private sector corruption.

Nevertheless, the CPI is the gold standard for determining corruption worldwide.

CORRECTION [9:01 p.m.]: A previous version of this post said Sweden earned a top spot. Sweden was 4th on the list. We regret the error.

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