The United States ranked as the 27th least corrupt country in the world out of 180 other countries and territories in the latest Corruption Perception Index conducted by Transparency International.
In its annual list published on Tuesday, the U.S. was ahead of countries such as Russia and North Korea. However, it lagged behind its allies such as Japan, Norway, and France. The list took a look at different metrics of corruption of 180 countries around the world before giving them a score on a scale ranging from zero to 100. A zero score means there is prevalent perceived corruption, while a score of 100 means there is no perceived corruption.
For its 2021 list, the U.S. got a score of 67. The nation got its highest score in 2015 when it scored 76 on the annual list. According to the report, factors such as last year's Capitol riots, reports of election fraud, and campaign finance laws were all considered and resulted in a lower score for the nation last year.
The report's researchers said that the country's lack of progress in the latest Corruption Perception Index is primarily due to the continued attacks against free and fair elections. Researchers added that the issue had culminated in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.
In 2020, the U.S. also scored a 67 on the report, marking its lowest score ever since the organization began making it. In this year's report, the U.S. tied with Chile for the 27th spot with a score of 67.
The U.S. faired better than countries such as North Korea, which had a score of 16, Iran with 25, and China with 45. However, the country lagged behind countries such as the U.K. with 78 and Denmark with a score of 88.
In the report, the average score remained at 43. This has been the average score for the 160 countries included in the list over the past decade. Researchers said corruption continues to be prevalent in a lot of countries, and some governments and officials have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to curtail basic freedom and circumvent checks and balances. The report also cited an increase in the restrictions of civil liberties in regions such as Europe and Asia.
Transparency International CEO Daniel Eriksson said in the report that social movement continued to be the last remaining check on power and corruption in most countries. He added that ordinary people from all walks of life banding together would ultimately bring the corrupt to justice and hold them accountable for their actions.