2018 Corruption Perceptions Index
The perceived level of public-sector corruption in the United States is worsening, even as the country continues to lead international anti-corruption efforts. According to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released Dec. 29, the United States fell four points from last year’s CPI, receiving its lowest score in seven years and marking the first time since 2011 that the United States fell outside the top 20 highest-ranking countries on the CPI.
Among 180 countries and territories ranked, the United States scored 71 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). “A four-point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the United States is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power,” said Zoe Reiter, TI’s acting representative to the United States. Beyond the United States, the 2018 CPI showed that perceived corruption is still rife globally: More than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 in the 2018 CPI, with an average score of 43. The lowest scoring region was Sub-Saharan Africa, with an average regional score of 32, whereas the highest scoring region was Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66. Sixteen other countries saw their scores significantly decline, including Chile, Hungary, Mexico, Turkey, Malta, and Australia.