Corruptions Perceptions Index 2021
How does your country measure up?
180 countries – 180 scores
The perceived levels of public sector corruption
in 180 countries/territories around the world.
Two years into the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels have stagnated worldwide. Despite commitments on paper, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption over the last decade and this year 27 countries are at historic lows in their CPI score.1 Meanwhile, human rights and democracy across the world are under assault.
This is no coincidence. Corruption enables human rights abuses,3 setting off a vicious and escalating
spiral. As rights and freedoms are eroded, democracy declines and authoritarianism takes its place,4
which in turn enables higher levels of corruption.5 The past year has brought disturbing examples of this, from the killing of human rights defenders6 and the closing of media outlets,7 to government spying scandals like the Pegasus Project.8
Increasingly, rights and checks and balances are being undermined not only in countries with systemic corruption and weak institutions, but also among established democracies. Respecting human rights is essential for controlling corruption because empowered citizens have the space to challenge injustice.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has also been used in many countries as an excuse to curtail basic freedoms9 and side-step important checks and balances. And despite the increasing international momentum to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies, many high-scoring countries with relatively “clean” public sectors continue to enable transnational corruption.
There is an urgent need to accelerate the fight against corruption if we are to halt human rights abuses and democratic decline across the globe.
Corruption in the Americas
With no progress on an average score of 43 out of 100 for the third consecutive year, even
high performers in the Americas are showing signs of trouble.
While the worst scores in the region belong to non-democratic countries – many of which are facing humanitarian crises – major consolidated democracies have also remained stagnant or fallen down the CPI.
Source: Corruption Perceptions