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Iceland Thirteenth Least Corrupt Nation

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Iceland Thirteenth Least Corrupt Nation

Alþingi parliament

Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Iceland ranks at number thirteen for the least corrupt nations in the world according to the 2017 “Corruption Perceptions Index” released by Transparency International this week, Despite the high ranking, Iceland is perceived as the most corrupt of the Nordic nations and its score has been steadily declining since 2012.

Transparency International is an internationally oriented, anti-corruption organization that has published the “Corruption Perceptions Index” annually since 2012. The index, “...which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.” This year, Iceland scored 77 on the index, in a three-way tie with Australia and Hong Kong. The country’s score is actually its lowest ever: since 2012, its score has been 82, 78, 79, 79, and finally last year, 78.

New Zealand had the highest ranking, 89, indicating a very low perception of corruption in the country. It was followed by Denmark (88), Finland (85), Norway/Switzerland (85), and Sweden/Singapore (84). The highest level of corruption was perceived in Somalia (9), followed by South Sudan (12), Syria (14), Afghanistan (15), Yemen (16), and Sudan (16).

According to the Index introduction, this year’s findings “...found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new.”

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