Estonia scored 71 points in Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index, which means that the country improved its ranking and moved from 22nd to 21st place. Estonia is one of 180 countries on the index.
With 89 points, New Zealand is the country with the lowest perceived occurrence of corruption in the world. Denmark and Finland follow, at the very end of the index are Syria, South Sudan, and Somalia.
Estonia's 71 points put it in the middle ground of European countries, coming in 14th among the 31 EU and Western European countries. The average in this group is 66 points. Denmark leads with 88, Bulgaria comes in last with 43 points.
Among the European Union's 28 member states Estonia ranks 11th. Lithuania scored 59 points and Latvia 58, which translates into 38th and 40th place, respectively.
Finland managed to defend its traditional place in the top three, on par with Switzerland and Norway with 85 points and ranking 3rd.
According to the Estonian branch of Transparency International, Korruptsioonivaba Eesti, the country's imrovement in last year's ranking is too small to really talk about progress. "In the long term we need to find a way how the public and private sectors can work effectively towards a corruption-free and transparent society," the not-for-profit's director, Erkka Jaakkola, said.
Jaakkola added that several corruption cases that have become public over the last few years show that corruption is still a disruptive issue in Estonian society.
The Corruption Perception Index, published annually by Transparency International since 1996, is an aggregate of the work done by several studies and expert groups. Every group concentrates on a specific aspect of corruption in a given society, with the result providing an assessment of the level of corruption in the public sector and in politics as perceived by external experts and businesses.
Editor: Dario Cavegn