Special Report

Most Corrupt Countries in the World

Source: Darcy Burbank / Wikimedia Commons

15. Chad
> Corruption index score (0-100): 19
> Population: 14.9 million
> Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Chad has held democratic, but ostensibly flawed, elections since 1996. The country has suffered from attacks by terrorist groups like Boko Haram and ISIS in the Lake Chad region, resulting in a recent call from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees for aid to more than 7 million displaced persons. Nepotism and cronyism are facts of life in Chad — one of the world’s poorest nations — because of weak rule of law. Anti-corruption legislation targets bribery and stipulates strong penalties but is not widely enforced.

Source: USO / Getty Images

14. Republic of the Congo
> Corruption index score (0-100): 19
> Population: 5.3 million
> Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Republic of the Congo, while not as well-endowed as Angola, has 1.9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, most of them offshore. Corruption is rampant in the African nation, with almost every area of the economy affected. President Sassou Nguesso tightly holds power and government institutions are vulnerable to political interference and patronage. Though there are regulatory protocols addressing corruption, implementation is erratic.

Source: Thinkstock

13. Iraq
> Corruption index score (0-100): 18
> Population: 38.3 million
> Region: Middle East & North Africa

Iraq’s record for transparency and combating corruption has been undistinguished, but Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has promised that his government will “put an end” to corruption in the same way the country overcame the forces of ISIS.

Source: DouglasOlivares / Getty Images

12. Venezuela
> Corruption index score (0-100): 18
> Population: 32.0 million
> Region: Americas

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been in power since 2013, but his days as the country’s leader appear to be numbered amid allegations that he rigged the last election. He is being challenged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has been formally recognized by the Trump administration as the country’s leader. In November, the country’s former treasury chief pleaded guilty to taking $1 billion in bribes.

Source: Christine Vaufrey / Flickr

11. Burundi
> Corruption index score (0-100): 17
> Population: 10.9 million
> Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Faustin Ndikumana, chairman of a civil rights group in Burundi, said last August that corruption is part of everyday life in the country and that being corrupt is no longer considered taboo.