Denmark took second place, followed by Finland, Norway and Switzerland tied for third, and Sweden and Singapore tied in sixth place.
Luxembourg tied for eighth place with Canada, the UK and Netherlands. Germany came in 12th.
Western Europe was “the best performing region” overall, the organisation stated. The “worst performing regions” were sub-Saharan Africa, and eastern Europe and central Asia.
According to the anti-corruption watchdog:
“The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.”
Luxembourg’s score was 82, compared to New Zealand’s 89.
Transparency International stated:
“This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new.”
The US, Belgium, Japan and France placed in the middle of the tables, with scores in the 70s.
At the bottom of the index were Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan and Somalia, with a score of 9.
The activist group began publishing the index 25 years ago. This year, it also looked at the links between perceived corruption and freedom of expression:
“Analysis of the index results by Transparency International further examined the relationship between corruption levels, the protection of journalistic freedoms and engagement of civil society. It found that almost all journalists killed since 2012 were killed in corrupt countries.”
Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International, said in a press release:
“No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption. Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up.”