These Countries Are Tied as the 'Least Corrupt' in the World

It’s possible that a deranged lunatic runs your country. It’s also possible that you live in a free and egalitarian society that promotes plurality and social welfare. (We hope it’s the latter, anyway!).  

After all, there are 196 countries globally, and all governments are privy to some kind of corruption, eventually. Transparency International, a think-tank based in Berlin, ranked 176 of these countries based on the public’s perceived level of corruption, in both government and business.

The survey found that (drumroll please...) the least corrupt countries in the world for 2016 are Denmark and New Zealand, both of which scored a 90 out of Transparency's 100-point scale. Denmark earned the top honor last year with a score of 91, while New Zealand placed fourth in 2015 with a score of 88. 

Transparency ranks countries using data from the World Bank and World Economic Forum as its primary metric. It's worth noting that the rankings are based off the public's perception of government corruption in various nations.


The United States, what with its exceptionalism and completely civilized presidential elections and transfers of power, ranked 18th on the list, earning a score of 74. Last year, the USA notched 76 points, which seems very patriotic, for some reason.  

Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway in addition to Denmark, all scored quite highly on the list. All of these countries follow the Nordic Model, a system of government that combines the welfare state with collective bargaining rights and regulated, free market capitalism. Even though they’re the very tall descendants of vikings, it appears Scandinavians are pretty damn nice to each other -- and apparently, pretty honest, too.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.