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Asia Minute: Perceptions of corruption in the Asia Pacific show a mixed picture

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Transparency International
"Corruption Perceptions Index 2021"

A widely followed measure of public corruption shows several changes in its latest edition — and many are not encouraging. The United States continues to fall in the rankings, while in the Asia Pacific there is a broad range of scores.

When it comes to public corruption, most of the world is not making much progress.

That’s the view from Transparency International — which each year ranks 180 countries in its “Corruption Perceptions Index.”

The highest score in the world is a 3-way tie — 88 points out of 100 for Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

The lowest score is South Sudan at 11.

Transparency International corruption index 2021
Transparency International
Results by region from the "Corruption Perceptions Index 2021" by Transparency International

The German-based organization behind the numbers was started in 1993 by former employees of the World Bank.

In the Asia Pacific, several countries make the top 20 in the latest index.

Singapore is tied for fourth at 85. Hong Kong drops by a point but still comes in at number 12.

Australia and Japan are tied for 18th place with a score of 73.

For the first time in a decade, the United States has dropped out of the top 25 of the Corruption Perceptions Index to 27th place with Chile — with a score of 67.

The bottom of the regional scale for the Asia Pacific includes Cambodia — with a score of 23 out of 100 — and North Korea — its tally of 16 puts it in a tie for 174th place — along with Afghanistan.

Click here to read the full 22-page report from Transparency International.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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