According to the Global Corruption Index 2022, compiled by Global Risk Profile, a Swiss due diligence company, Estonia is the fifth least corrupt country in the world.
Estonia is ranked fifth among 196 countries included in the index – after Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
“After four years of competition between Finland (best performer in 2019 and 2020) and Denmark (best performer in 2018 and 2021) for the top spot, this year Norway takes the lead of the Global Corruption Index for the first time,” the company said in a statement.
The index doesn’t provide any specific data on Estonia other than its score – 11.13. This score is based on the identification and classification of a party’s risk exposure in the country and “42 open-source datasets that exclusively originate from internationally recognized entities”.
Looking at Estonia’s neighbours, Lithuania is ranked 23rd, Latvia 33rd and Russia 125th.
A slight decline because of the pandemic
“With the objective to allow users to evaluate and compare country results between them, data were standardised and aggregated to a 0-100 scale, where 0 corresponds to the lowest risk and 100 corresponds to the highest risk.” For example, Norway, the leader of this year’s index, gets the score of 7.12 and Finland 7.15. The most corrupt country in the world, according to the index – Syria – gets the score of 90.66.
“One outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is the implementation of exceptional financial aid programs globally, unlocking loans and credits at a fast pace. This emergency response triggered new opportunities for corruption, bribery, falsification of submissions and embezzlement of public funds, therefore draining new resources,” the company said.
“While the European continent remains collectively well ahead of the other continents (risk score: 30), a slight decline this year may be due to the introduction of 2020-2021 facilitated loans. Next in line, Oceania (risk score: 40.6) and North America (risk score: 43.8) have also slightly receded this year.”
The US and China showing signs of stabilisation
According to the index, in the global scoring, both the United States and China show the first signs of stabilisation after slow declines over the last few years.
“The United States fell progressively from the 24th to the 35th position between 2018 and 2021, before pulling back to the 31st position this year. After its drop in 2020, China jumped back from the 139th to the 118th position in 2021, and now stabilizes at the 117th position.”
The most corrupt countries in the world, according to the index, are Syria, North Korea, Congo, Yemen and South Sudan.
Global Risk Profile is a Swiss due diligence company, founded in 2009. Its Global Corruption Index is a tool measuring public and private corruption as well as other white-collar crimes, such as money laundering and terrorism financing worldwide.