A world urgently in need of action
The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows that most countries are failing to stop corruption.
The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, scoring on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
The global average remains unchanged for over a decade at just 43 out of 100. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, while 26 countries have fallen to their lowest scores yet. Despite concerted efforts and hard-won gains by some, 155 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012.
Conflict, security and trouble at the top
Global peace has been deteriorating for 15 years. Corruption has been both a key cause and result of this.
Corruption undermines governments' ability to protect people and erodes public trust, provoking more and harder to control security threats. On the other hand, conflict creates opportunities for corruption and subverts governments' efforts to stop it.
Even countries with high CPI scores play a role in the threats that corruption poses to global security. For decades, they have welcomed dirty money from abroad, allowing kleptocrats to increase their wealth, power and destructive geopolitical ambitions.
Leaders can fight corruption and promote peace all at once. Governments must open up space to include the public in decision-making – from activists and business owners to marginalised communities and young people. In democratic societies, the people can raise their voices to help root out corruption and demand a safer world for us all.
Countries failing to address their corruption problems worsen the effects of the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and growing security threats across the globe.
While 2022 has seen some progress, advanced economies are still not pulling their weight in the fight against cross-border corruption.
Corruption and conflict fuel each other. This underlines the urgent need for transparency and anti-corruption efforts to create a safer world.
What’s happening around the world?
While every country faces different corruption challenges, this year’s index reveals ongoing stagnation around the world.
Countries in the top-scoring region, Western Europe and the European Union, have been at a standstill for over a decade or have declined over the past five years. Undue influence over decision-making, poor enforcement of integrity safeguards and threats to the rule of law continue to undermine governments’ effectiveness.
On the other end of the index, countries with low scores are also unable to make significant progress. In many parts of the Americas, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, restrictions and attacks on civic space and basic freedoms continue as multiple crises threaten security and stability, democracy and human rights. Similarly, in various Asia Pacific countries, rising authoritarianism dilutes civil society’s function as a watchdog, while many leaders are prioritising economic recovery over anti-corruption efforts. In the Middle East and North Africa, where unequal political and economic power is deeply intertwined with conflict, corruption is undermining democratic processes, causing pervasive civil unrest and fuelling violence.
Check out the latest corruption wins, scandals and predictions for each region of the world.
CPI 2022 for the Americas: Fertile ground for criminal networks and human rights abuses
A lack of bold, decisive action to fight corruption and strengthen public institutions fuels organised criminal activities and other sources of violence.
CPI 2022 for Asia Pacific: Basic freedoms restricted as anti-corruption efforts neglected
As authoritarianism grows and restrictions on civic space and basic freedoms imposed during the pandemic remain in place, the region stagnates for the fourth year in a row.
CPI 2022 for Eastern Europe & Central Asia: Growing security risks and authoritarianism threaten progress against corruption
High-level corruption is closely linked to political instability, weakened institutions and – in the most extreme cases – violent conflict.
CPI 2022 for Middle East & North Africa: Corruption fuels ongoing conflict
As corruption, authoritarianism and insecurity fuel each other, the region is in decline.
CPI 2022 for Sub-Saharan Africa: Corruption compounding multiple crises
Corruption is damaging crucial enablers of progress – democracy, security and development – across Sub-Saharan Africa.
CPI 2022 for Western Europe & EU: Undue influence and fragmented anti-corruption measures hurt progress
While once again the top-scoring region in the CPI, anti-corruption efforts have stalled in most countries for more than a decade.
The CPI Explained
The CPI is the most widely used global corruption ranking in the world. But how is it calculated? What kinds of corruption does it cover? And why are certain countries not included? Watch this short explainer video, or dive straight into the most frequently asked questions.