The United States has dropped out of the top 20 “cleanest” countries for the first time since 2011, according to an annual survey released by global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero
is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
More than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 in this year’s report, with an average score of just 43. The United States had a score of 71, down from 75 in 2017. The four-point drop was called a “red flag” by the Berlin-based organisation, and comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing “threats to its system of checks and balances” and an “erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.” In a cross-analysis of its survey with global democracy data, TI said a link could be drawn between
corruption and the health of a democracy.