The Most Corrupt Countries in the World

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6. South Sudan
> Corruption index score (0-100):
15 (tied-5th worst)
> Population: 11.9 million
> Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
> GDP per capita: $1,888.62

South Sudan became the world’s youngest country in 2011 when it seceded from Sudan and its brutally oppressive government. While the country is now independent it has not escaped turmoil. Civil War between the supporters of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and the rebels led by Riek Machar raged from 2013 through 2015, leaving millions displaced from their homes. Amid the chaos, and due to the presence of large oil reserves, South Sudan is extremely vulnerable to corruption. Upon its secession, the new country immediately received heavy investment and foreign aid from the world’s major powers, including most notably the United States and China. Little of this aid appears to be reaching needy country residents, however. The United Nations estimates that approximately 3.9 million people face serious food insecurity. Meanwhile, the country’s elite continue to negotiate aid sharing agreements.

5. Angola
> Corruption index score (0-100):
15 (tied-5th worst)
> Population: 25.1 million
> Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
> GDP per capita: $7,375.98

A number of the world’s most corrupt countries are in complete disarray, and the governments in these areas would be largely ineffective even if corruption was properly addressed. In Angola, on the other hand, tackling corruption would likely alleviate a great deal of the country’s struggles. President José Eduardo dos Santos has ruled the country for 36 years, and over that time the country’s substantial wealth has been funnelled to a small fraction of society. Angola is the second largest oil producer in Africa, and luxury goods such as diamonds, sports cars, and expensive housing are common in the capital, which is also known as one of the most expensive cities in the world for expatriates. Yet, a great many people live in poverty despite the apparent wealth. And as one consequence of the inequality, one child in six is expected to die before the age of five, the highest childhood mortality rate in the world.

4. Sudan
> Corruption index score (0-100):
12
> Population: 38.4 million
> Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
> GDP per capita: $4,355.92

Sudan is one of several especially corrupt countries located in the Middle East and North Africa region. The country’s government institutions are very weak, and with the ongoing conflicts and abject social and economic conditions they are not likely to strengthen and improve in the near future. Without well-functioning institutions, many Sudanese likely have no choice but to resort to corrupt activities in order to survive.

The entire southern and oil-rich portion of the country seceded in 2011, forming South Sudan — the world’s youngest country. The split came after a multi-decade civil war fought over the Sudanese government’s violent attempts to convert southerners to Islam, and the lack of autonomy given to southerners. Oil from the south was also extracted and used to disproportionately concentrate economic benefits in the north.