Denmark was named the least corrupt country in the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 released on Wednesday.
The index, which is published by Berlin-based Transparency International, aims to rank nations “based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be.” The index ranked 176 countries on a scale of 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
While Transparency International notes no country is completely free of corruption, the nations at the top of the index share “characteristics of open government, press freedom, civil liberties and independent judicial systems.”
Here is the top 10:
1. Denmark: 90
1. New Zealand: 90
3. Finland: 89
4. Sweden: 88
5. Switzerland: 86
6. Norway: 85
7. Singapore: 84
8. Netherlands: 83
9. Canada: 82
10. Germany: 81
10. Luxembourg: 81
10. United Kingdom: 81
Denmark finished on top for the fifth straight year. Those four countries have made up the top four in some order for each of the past six years.
So what makes them “cleaner” than other countries? According to Transparency Index the most successful anti-corruption tactics involve public participation — these countries all use a “bottom-up model based on public trust, transparency and social capital.”
They also “all have high GDP per capita, low inequality rates, literacy rates close to 100 %, and prioritize human right issues (e.g. gender equality, freedom of information).”
The United States (74 points) ranked 18th. It was ranked 16th last year, its highest position since the index began in 1995.