A newly released study by Transparency International finds the United States less corrupt now than it was in 2011. According to the survey's rankings, the U.S. is the 19th least corrupt country in the world this year; in 2011, the U.S. ranked 24th.
"The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem," writes the group that focuses on corruption.
"Corruption translates into human suffering, with poor families being extorted for bribes to see doctors or to get access to clean drinking water. It leads to failure in the delivery of basic services like education or healthcare. It derails the building of essential infrastructure, as corrupt leaders skim funds.
"Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims."
America's numerical score this year is 73 (with 100 being least corrupt and 0 being most); in 2011, under a slightly different system of grading, the U.S. scored 7.1.
So who's less corrupt than America? In order from best to worst: Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Canada, Netherlands, Iceland, Luxembourg, Germany, Hong Kong, Barbados, Belgium, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
The four most corrupt countries, according to this survey, are Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia.