BERLIN — Denmark may not have a lot in common with North Korea and Somalia but all three nations placed first in their respective categories on the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index released Wednesday by Transparency International, a Berlin-based organization that tracks perceived levels of public sector fraud and dishonesty worldwide.
For the second year running Denmark, the index showed, is the country with especially “high levels of press freedom; access to budget information so the public knows where money comes from and how it is spent; high levels of integrity among people in power; and judiciaries that don’t differentiate between rich and poor, and that are truly independent from other parts of government.”
North Korea and Somalia, were the joint-worst performers. The United States came 16th out of 167 nations, its best ever showing since the survey began in 1995.
Not a single country in the world is corruption-free, according to the survey, and some 68% of nations have what Transparency International calls a “serious problem with corruption,” meaning the high-level abuse of power that benefits the few at the expense of the many is especially pronounced in more than two-thirds of countries worldwide.
Here are the top 10 nations perceived to be the least corrupt:
And the top 10 worst performing countries: