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The 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International (TI) ranked 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, drawing on 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives. It used a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The top countries were New Zealand and Denmark with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85). The bottom countries were Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively. These countries are closely followed by Yemen (15), Venezuela (16), Sudan (16), Equatorial Guinea (16) and Afghanistan (16). Western Europe and the EU was the highest scoring region with an average of 66/100, while Sub-Saharan Africa was the lowest scoring region with 32 points.
With a score of 71 the United Arab Emirates was the best Muslim performer, and it even ranked ahead of countries such as the United States and France. In second place on the “Muslim list” was Qatar which scored 62 points. With a score of 53, Saudi Arabia improved by four points since last year. However, its score does not reflect its dismal human rights record and severe restrictions on journalists, political activists and other citizens, said Transparency International. Many conflict-torn Muslim countries ranked near the bottom of the list, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Such low scores indicate that bribery, stealing of public funds, and profiteering by authorities is an everyday fact of life in these countries, said Transparency International.