Top 10 Least Corrupt Countries In The World 2021

Corruption is one of the biggest threats in the world. Unfortunately, this threat is found in every country. This global issue establishes bad governance, stop development, and undermines the law. Still, there are several countries where corruption is at a superficial level. Here is the list of the ten least corrupt countries globally and their corruption perception index score (CPI) published by transparency international.

The CPI score ranges from 0 to 100. The CPI score of ‘0’ indicates a highly corrupt country, and a score of 100 signals a perfect country with an absence of corruption.

10 Germany, CPI : 80

The view on Hanover city, Germany.

According to Freedom House’s report, Germany’s ability is generally sufficient to ensure the integrity and prevent corruption in state bodies because of a robust institutional setup. Besides, Germany’s fraud and corruption risks are mainly prevalent in the construction and public procurement sectors. This one of the least corrupt countries offers robust institutional and legal anti-corruption frameworks.

The government prohibited facilitation payments. Additionally, they considered hospitality and small-value gifts might be illegal depending on the intent, benefit, and value. Moreover, foreign bribery enforcement has increased significantly in recent years, and the officials have successfully prosecuted a vast number of individuals and prominent German companies from businesses.

9 Luxembourg, CPI : 80

Old Town Luxembourg City from top view by day.

Luxembourg is the richest and one of the smallest countries in the European Union. It is the only remaining sovereign Duchy in the world. Additionally, the low corruption rate is another great thing about Luxembourg. This country has a unitary parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy. Moreover, this country’s corruption level is generally shallow, and it offers a robust legal framework for combating corruption.

This one of the least corrupt countries effectively implemented anti-corruption laws. Nonetheless, Luxembourg’s few corruption cases have revealed conflicts of interest between private and public sectors, tainting transparency. The legal framework mainly criminalizes facilitation payments, bribery, gifts, and office abuse, among other offenses. Neither bribery nor facilitation payments is widespread in this country.

8 Netherlands, CPI : 82

Traditional old buildings in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has made a notable improvement in investigating and punishing foreign bribery, according to the OECD. Furthermore, it is again in the top ten of the least corrupt countries with a public sector corruption score of 82. Apart from the weather and the traffic jams, it is a pretty good place to live.

The Netherlands is ahead of its neighboring country Germany in 10th place, the United Kingdom in 12th place, and Belgium in 16th place. Additionally, people won’t face any bribery demands in their day-to-day life. Moreover, corruption in the Netherlands is rare in all significant areas, such as the judiciary, business, politics, and police.

7 Norway, CPI : 84

Stavanger, Norway city view with harbor and colorful traditional wooden houses.

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Additionally, the judiciary of Norway is entirely independent of the executive and legislative branches. Moreover, Norway also has strict and efficient anti-corruption legislation that maintains the high standard within Norway’s public sector. Norway has a shallow crime rate, and we can see a significant decline in crime in recent years.

The 2020 Perceptions Index from Transparency International ranked Norway as the 7th least corrupt nation out of 180 countries. Besides, the Norwegian Penal Code mainly criminalizes active and passive bribery, fraud, extortion, trading in influence, breach of trust, and money laundering. Moreover, Norway conducted the business with a high level of transparency.

6 Sweden, CPI : 85

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) in Stockholm, Sweden.

Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention defined corruption in Sweden as “the abuse of power.” Bribes and improper rewards are rare here. About seven out of ten people in Sweden believe the judiciary’s independence is fairly or very good. Sweden well maintained the rule of law. The judicial system runs impartially and independently, with consistent application of laws.

The 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) placed Sweden in a four-way tie for third place. Sweden’s score of 85 equaled that of Singapore, Finland, and Switzerland. Corruption in Sweden is not a significant obstacle to business. Its Penal Code mainly criminalizes most forms of corruption, and we can find Sweden provides a strict rule of law.

5 Singapore, CPI : 85

Singapore city skyline of business district downtown in the daytime.

Singapore is the fifth least corrupt country in the world. The Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau is a government agency in Singapore, mostly investigating and prosecuting corruption cases in private and public sectors. Singapore now enjoys a well-earned reputation for a high incorruptibility level.

Singapore’s success in fighting corruption results from a useful corruption control framework with its laws, adjudication, enforcement, and public administration. It took the top spot in Asia and was the only Asian country to make it into the top 10. The government’s unwavering political commitment and leadership, a zero-tolerance culture against corruption, have also become ingrained into its psyche and way of life.

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4 Switzerland, CPI : 85

Beautiful Architecture at Bern, the capital city of Switzerland.

The officials have rated the banking sector as one of the most corrupt because of strong secrecy laws and the large offshore banking industry. The banking sector mainly allows money laundering and hiding the corruptly obtained money. The government generally implemented the anti-bribery effectively. Officials considered the gifts and hospitality as illegal depending on the value, intent, and benefit got.

Moreover, the Swiss Criminal Code does not establish qualitative limitations or general quantitative on hospitality expenses. However, Switzerland still has room for improvement to reduce corruption, according to Transparency International. This country has severe deficiencies in the fight against money laundering, the whistleblowers’ protection or corruption in the private sector, and sport.

3 Finland, CPI : 85

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town architecture in Helsinki, Finland.

Prevalent corruption in Finland is low, according to public opinion and global standards. Finland is the world’s third-most-transparent country. The few corruption instances involving the government are political donations, decision-making in state investments, and election funding. Moreover, Finland’s non-traditional types of corruption include tax evasion, gifts, hospitality, and conflicts of interest.

Bribery is, however, one of the forms corruption may take, and the majority of crime occurs in some other way. Besides, the Finnish regulatory system is transparent. The political leaders in Finland have a strong commitment to corruption. Furthermore, the independent judiciary and robust legal framework also lower the chances of different forms of corruption.

2 Denmark, CPI : 88

Copenhagen City, Denmark

According to the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Denmark ranks in the second position out of 180 countries, and it stays in the top-4 since the first report published in 1995. Moreover, Denmark’s public does not consider corruption a major issue in society. The bribes the Danes paid to access public benefits and services that are virtually non-existent.

Denmark provides a robust business environment for companies, and their interaction with public officials, politicians, and other enterprises are also powerful. Integrity in politics is the primary fight against corruption, and here, Denmark takes the lead once again. The higher rank is vastly due to Denmark’s access to public expenditure, independent judicial systems, a high degree of press freedom, and more substantial public officials’ integrity standards.

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1 New Zealand, CPI : 88

new zealand
Wellington aerial skyline on a sunny morning, New Zealand.

Transparency international regarded New Zealand as having the world’s one of the lowest levels of corruption, with a one-point improvement from last year. New Zealand is the first least corrupt country, with a CPI score of 88. Besides, New Zealand has a parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy. New Zealand’s judicial system carries a shallow risk of corruption for companies.

In that way, the judiciary of New Zealand maintains accountability and impartiality. The risk of encountering corruption within the police service is external. The government has effective mechanisms to prevent and detect crime in the police, and there are no reported incidents of impunity. We can find surveyed business executives placed high trust in the police services and note few business costs of violence and crime.