Estonia has climbed one spot on year to rank at fifth lowest risk for corruption in the 2022 Global Corruption Index (GCI) compiled and published by risk management company Global Risk Profile (GRP).
Norway topped the GCI ranking this year as least at risk of corruption, up from second place last year, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark — which ranked first last year — and Estonia — which ranked sixth overall in 2021.
Norway scored 7.12, Finland 7.14, Sweden 8.8, Denmark 10.98 and Estonia 11.13 this year.
New Zealand, the highest ranking country outside of Europe, followed Estonia in sixth place with a score of 11.7, followed by the Netherlands with 13.74, Iceland with 15.23, Australia with 15.24 and Ireland with a score of 15.47.
Of the 196 countries and territories Included in this year's index, Syria ranked worst, i.e. at highest risk of corruption, with a score of 90.66, followed by North Korea with 87.97, the Democratic Republic of Congo with 80.12, Yemen with 79.38 and South Sudan with a score of 77.90.
By continent, Europe averaged the lowest risk of corruption (score of 30), followed by Oceania (40.6) and North America (43.8).
The United States ranked 31st overall with a score of 25.32; China ranked 117th (50.25) and Russia 125th (51.88). To Estonia's south, Latvia ranked 33rd with a score of 25.91 and Lithuania 23rd with a score of 21.79.
The GRP compiles its index based on both public and private sector corruption risk exposure as well as white-collar crimes, including more specifically money-laundering and terrorism financing. The GCI is composed of 42 variables that the company says are constructed based on datasets borrowed exclusively from internationally recognized entities.
In this year's report, the GRP noted that companies implemented extraordinary support measures during the COVID-19 pandemic that opened up additional opportunities for corruption, bribes, falsification and other misuses of public funds.
While European countries were ranked least at risk of corruption, support provided in 2020 and 2021 may have been behind a somewhat increase in corruption, the GRP said.
Founded in 2009, Global Risk Profile is a Swiss-based company specializing in third-party risk management for multinational businesses. The GCI is one service offered by the company.
Editor: Aili Vahtla