The index ranked 180 countries and territories by perceived levels of corruption in the public sector, according to experts and business people.
It uses a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 meaning highly corrupt and 100 being very clean. New Zealand and Denmark topped the annual index again this year, while Finland held on to its third place with a score of 85, which was matched by Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.
The global outlook was considerably grimmer, with more than two-thirds of countries in this year’s index having an average score of only 43. The CPI found that the inability to control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy.
“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International.