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Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 published

On January 31, 2023, Transparency International published the updated Corruption Perceptions Index (“CPI”) for 2022.


  • The CPI 2022 indicates a global stagnation in perceived corruption in the public sector. As in the previous year, two-thirds of the countries surveyed only achieved a score of less than half the achievable maximum score (50), indicating a critical corruption propensity level. The global average score of 43 points is also on a par with the preceding year.
  • Transparency International discusses corruption as a strategic element of foreign policy of autocratic regimes, which has clearly emerged with the Russian attack on Ukraine.
  • With a score of 79 points Germany takes nineth place in the international ranking. This is the lowest score Germany received since 2014.
  • Since 2016 the US is battling a declining score but was able to add two points and climb to rank 24 with a score of 69 points.
  • Ukraine is making progress in the fight against corruption, which is also reflected in its CPI score.

Overview Corruption Perceptions Index 2022

The international anti-corruption organization Transparency International published the updated CPI for 2022 on January 31, 2023. This index summarizes the results of 13 surveys, expert assessments and investigations – conducted by 12 independent organizations – to measure perceived corruption in business, politics and administration in the public sector of 180 countries. It ranges from zero points (“very corrupt”) to 100 points (“very integrity”).

The Corruption Perception Index score is created in four steps: Selection of data sources, conversion of the scores into a scale from 0 to 100, calculation of the average of these data sources, which is finally complemented by the standard deviation. The reliability of all data sources is checked according to certain criteria developed by TI. However, this does not eliminate the potential danger of a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the expectation of corrupt actions in a country always determines the perception of corruption. Countries in the so-called “global South” thus run the risk of being assessed as worse than the situation actually is, and vice versa, a positively distorted picture of the situation in the so-called “global North” could also emerge.

Analogous to the findings from the previous year, Transparency International determines a worldwide stagnation of perceived corruption for the year 2022. In the third year of the COVID 19 pandemic, 124 of the 180 countries considered in the CPI 2022 show no change in rating compared to the previous year. 31 countries received a lower rating, in contrast to only 25 countries that improved their CPI score. Thus, more than two-thirds of the countries examined still achieve a score of less than 50 points, while only eight countries have managed to make perceptible progress in the fight against corruption over the past five years. As in previous years, the global average is just 43 out of 100 points.

Corrupt Behavior and Security Threats around the world

Transparency International’s CPI 2022 report posits that corruption and conflict feed on each other, threatening world peace. Factors such as political instability, increased pressure on resources, and weakened oversight bodies create opportunities for corruption. Therefore, it is not surprising that most countries that score low in the CPI rankings are currently part of, or have recently been part of, an armed conflict. The dangers of strategic corruption as an instrument of autocratic regimes’ foreign policy have become more and more visible in recent years, culminating now in Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

However, even in peaceful societies, corruption has severe consequences by fueling social grievances. The siphoning off of resources from security agencies leaves states unable to protect the public and uphold the rule of law, fostering organized crime and increased security threats.

In this context, Transparency International makes four recommendations to combat corruption:

  1. strengthening and promoting the separation of powers
  2. sharing information and maintaining the right of access to information
  3. limiting private influence by regulating lobbying and promoting open access to decision-making
  4. combating transnational forms of corruption.

Development of the perception of corruption

Overall, corruption in the public sphere is perceived as least of a problem in Western Europe and the EU, with an unchanged average score of 66 points. The situation is significantly worse in sub-Saharan Africa (32 points), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (35 points), the Middle East and North Africa (38 points), and Asia (45 points), but the USA and Latin America can also only achieve 43 points on the country average.

Top performers in the CPI 2022 are Denmark with 90 points, up from 88 points in 2021, Finland and New Zealand with 87 points, Norway (84 points), Sweden and Singapore (both 83 points).

 The tail end of the CPI 2022 ranking are Somalia (12 points), South Sudan and Syria (13 points each). Within this group, there were hardly any changes compared with the previous year.

Over the period from 2018 to 2022, Canada and the United Kingdom recorded the sharpest drop, each losing 7 points. Furthermore, Austria lost 5 points over the same period, while Malaysia and Pakistan each lost their 6 points. Over the past ten years, Turkey and Hungary have lost the most points (13 points each), which can be attributed to the curtailment of judicial and media independence and the suppression of civil society.

In contrast, the point gains of Angola, Maldives, Vietnam, Moldova and South Korea are striking, each gaining 6 or more points in the last five years.

Situation in Germany

The Corruption Perceptions Index shows that Germany has not made decisive progress in the fight against corruption for ten years. Germany’s slight loss of points is related to scandals such as the mask affair, the Cum-Ex tax fraud and the Azerbaijan affair. According to Transparency International, the Corruption Perceptions Index confirms the need for legislative action, especially in the context of the law on bribery of members of parliament.

Implications of the Corruption Perceptions Index for Businesses

The results of the updated CPI should also be taken into account in day-to-day business, as they provide important risk indicators for compliance risk analyses and risk-based business partner reviews, both of which are essential elements of an effective and efficient compliance management system. In particular, business relationships with countries whose scores or rankings have deteriorated conspicuously should be critically reviewed, as new or increased compliance risks may have developed as a result.

We would be happy to advise and support you in your compliance risk analysis or risk-based business partner reviews. For further information and contact to our experts, please click here.

To the website of Transparency International.