corruption perceptions index (cpi)



The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels have stagnated worldwide at a time when human rights and democracy are also under attack.

More corrupt regimes tend to deliberately suppress the civil and political rights of their citizens, and when these rights are weak, people are less able to tackle corruption.

Transparency International’s research also shows a stark correlation between corrupt regimes and the murder of human rights defenders. Of the hundreds of human rights defenders murdered in 2020, 98 per cent occurred in the 23 countries with high levels of public sector corruption – or a CPI score below 45.

Of the 23 countries that significantly declined on the CPI since 2012, 19 also declined on their civil liberties score.

Meanwhile in Australia, the latest CPI report has given Australia’s its worst-ever score. Australia is now in 18th place, scoring just 73 points on the 100-point scale.

What we need

To end the vicious cycle of corruption, human rights violations and democratic decline, people should demand that their governments
  • Uphold the rights needed to hold power to account
  • Restore and strengthen institutional checks on power
  • Combat transnational corruption
  • Uphold the right to information in government spending

About the CPI

The CPI analyses the perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, drawing on 13 surveys of businesspeople and expert assessments.

The CPI uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Usually, a score below 50 indicates serious levels of public sector corruption.

Watch this great 4-minute explainer video to learn how we calculate the CPI.

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