The 10 Most Corrupt Countries in the World

Transparency International is an anti-corruption organization that works together with governments, businesses and citizens to end corruption schemes all over the globe. Each year, the group releases its Corruption Perceptions Index to determine which nations rank lower or higher based on the perception of corruption in the public sector. According to the latest annual review, the most corrupt countries were all plagued by war, poverty, political conflicts, weak public institutions and lack of independence in the media.



Often referred to as a major African hub for drug trafficking, Guinea-Bissau has a long history of political instability, corruption and weak governance. To this day, no president has finished his term in office. To make matters worse, related organized crime networks have comfortably reached into the highest hierarchy of the political and military elite over the last 20 years.

No legal or institutional anti-corruption framework has properly operated in the country. Although positive reforms have been implemented by past governments, the 2012 coup made all good efforts bring such reforms to a standstill.



Corruption is quite expensive in Yemen. The sudden political conflicts the country has been witnessing since 2011 has caused upheavals that hinder any social and economic progress. The current political structure severely impedes an investment climate as new companies often find it difficult to join the country market without taking on a local partner.

Although the government has enacted remarkable anti-corruption laws, the requirements do not cover all forms of corruption. Practices such as passive bribery and extortion are not included – practices that are widespread across the country.



Considered as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Sudan has been racked by war since achieving independence in 1956. Adding insult to the injury, most government officials in the country are usually involved in corrupt practices without facing any legal restriction. The major problems the citizens face today are the lack of transparency, the weak governance and the absence of legislation.

Even though the country has some of some of Africa’s largest oil reserves, there are deep imbalances along economic and ethnic groups.


North Korea

North Korea, a Communist nation governed by Kim Jung-un, the third member of a family dynasty, is considered as one of the less accessible countries in the world. However, strict regulations and brutal punishments imposed by the government against foreign media are commonly evaded by the police through bribes.

After the execution of Jan Sung-taek in December 2013, North Korea’s state media admitted widespread corruption across the country. According to official announcements, the main corruption problems in this Asian nation are bribery, deviation of materials, selling resources and land, securing funds and squandering money.



The development of the Syrian Civil War has already caused the death of over half a million people and the displacement of ten million more. However, war is not the only problem the country has today. Corruption has always been around as it exists in every state sector, institution and ministry across this Middle Eastern country. The corruption has even reached the point where Syrian citizens cannot get their rights without bribes. From everyday interactions with police officers to attempts to get business licenses, for many Syrians, unofficial payments through bribes are the core of every transaction in the country.


South Sudan

According to official reports, all current political leaders, most responsible for mass killings and rapes across South Sudan, have amassed enormous wealth though illegal means. Family members and friends of both the current president Salva Kiir and his main rival and former vice president Riek Machar own properties worth in millions of dollars, drive luxury cars and stay at expensive hotels all over the world.

Although the primary corruption legislation, the Southern Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and the South Sudan Penal Code Act 2008, cover a wide range of corruption offences, gifts and bribery are still widespread in all sectors of the economy in South Sudan.



Demanding and offering bribes in both the private and the public sectors are today commonly widespread in Afghanistan. Other major forms of corruption in the country include nepotism, graft and illegal land transfers. According to the US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), over half of the nation’s annual customs revenue has been lost to graft. This fact has made Afghan citizens feel discontented with the current Western-supported government and has increased the public support of the Taliban insurgents.



Before the Arab Spring took place in some Middle Eastern countries, including Libya, former president Muammar Gaddafi ruled the country for more than 40 years and used his power to fund a lavish lifestyle. After his public execution in 2011, the country has been racked by instability, violence, weak governance and corruption. The latter presents an everyday significant obstacle for citizens, since all sectors of the economic and social life in Libya suffer from widespread corruption.

The new Libyan Constitution is still in process of being writing even though the enforcement of the law is considerably weak and the security and judiciary apparatus are quite ineffective.



The insecurity and the ongoing instability severely restrict everyday life and limit pleasures and freedoms in Somalia. Furthermore, corrupt government officials allow any illegal activity in return for bribes. The absence of well-established institutions promotes an environment of lawlessness and hinders prospects of economic improvements.

Today, Somalia’s Provisional Constitution assumes the criminalization of several forms of corruption, including abuse of power and bribery. However, the implementation of any legal punishment against corruption is simply non-existent.



Rich in natural sources, Venezuela is the only country from America that has been ranked as one of the 10 most corrupt nations in the world.

Most sectors of the Venezuelan economy suffer from political instability, endemic corruption, massive inflation and an ineffective judiciary. The current legal framework criminalizes most corruption offences, including abuse of power, extortion and passive and active bribery. However, enforcement of anti-corruption legislation in Venezuela is non-existent or very week, and government officials usually engage in corrupt activities with impunity. Public corruption and bribery are widespread across the country.

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