Uruguay Is Considered Less Corrupt Than The US & Spain

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024 - 09:45 AM

How do corruption perceptions in Latin America compare to other countries?

In this graphic, LVisual Capitalist's Latinometrics uses data from Transparency International to provide visual context to corruption opinions across nations.

What is the Corruption Perceptions Index?

Every year, a German organization called Transparency International embarks on measuring corruption in each of the world’s countries. It does so through a metric they’ve branded as the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which, as the name implies, measures how corrupt a given country is perceived by the people living there.

As with any such index, the methodology leaves room for criticism. Many will notice that according to this list, Cuba is Latin America’s fourth least corrupt country. The correct way of interpreting the index is that Cubans consider their country less corrupt than, say, Colombians consider their own country. It’s a subjective measure.

Corruption Perceptions in Latin America and the World

Latin American countries range from Venezuela, which, as of 2023, ranks second to worst worldwide, to Uruguay, which is tied with Japan and perceived as less corrupt than some of the most developed nations like the U.S. and France.

CountryCorruption Perceptions Index score
Germany 🇩🇪78
Canada 🇨🇦76
Australia 🇦🇺75
Uruguay 🇺🇾73
Japan 🇯🇵73
France 🇫🇷71
United Kingdom 🇬🇧71
United States 🇺🇸69
Chile 🇨🇱66
South Korea 🇰🇷63
Spain 🇪🇸60
Italy 🇮🇹56
Costa Rica 🇨🇷55
Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦52
Malaysia 🇲🇾50
China 🇨🇳42
Cuba 🇨🇺42
Vietnam 🇻🇳41
South Africa 🇿🇦41
Colombia 🇨🇴40
India 🇮🇳39
Ethiopia 🇪🇹37
Argentina 🇦🇷37
Brazil 🇧🇷36
Dominican Republic 🇩🇴35
Egypt 🇪🇬35
Panama 🇵🇦35
Indonesia 🇮🇩34
Ecuador 🇪🇨34
Peru 🇵🇪33
Mexico 🇲🇽31
El Salvador 🇸🇻31
Pakistan 🇵🇰29
Bolivia 🇧🇴29
Paraguay 🇵🇾28
Russia 🇷🇺26
Nigeria 🇳🇬25
Iran 🇮🇷24
Bangladesh 🇧🇩24
Honduras 🇭🇳23
Guatemala 🇬🇹23
Nicaragua 🇳🇮17
Venezuela 🇻🇪13

Source: Transparency International.

Unlike most countries in Latin America, which have experienced turmoil and drastic changes over the years, Uruguay’s corruption score has remained stable. This indicates healthy power transitions and is a testament to Uruguay’s trusted democratic and judicial systems.

Other Notable Trends

Turning back the clock on this index exposes improvements and descents into tragedy. On the improvements side, the Dominican Republic has made strides to regain its people’s trust, bettering its score by over 20 percentage points in the past decade.

In the early 2010s, the Dominican Republic was struggling with bribery allegations and a weak and unwilling-to-prosecute judicial system. Just last year, 20 former officials were arrested in the largest anti-corruption probe in the country’s history, which uncovered widespread embezzlement in government contracts.

Conversely, Venezuela and Nicaragua have both continued to undermine institutions and concentrate power in the hands of undemocratic leaders.