Report Ranks Countries' Corruption Levels, U.S. Ranks in Top 20

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A report released by the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) ranks countries based on the perceived level of corruption that exists among politicians. Finland ranked as the least corrupt country in the world, but the United States made it into the "Top 20."

The TI Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks 133 countries in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist. The corruption index [0 = totally corrupt to 10 = totally corruption-free] has been released annually since 1995 and reflects perceived levels of corruption among politicians and public offices, drawing on responses from business people, risk analysts, and academics. Corruption is defined by TI as the abuse of public office for private gain.

The world's largest economy, the United States, ranked 18th with a 7.5 "corruption index" rating. For the third year in a row, Bangladesh was found to be the most corrupt country in the world, with an average score of 1.3.

For more details on the report and full listings, visit the Transparency International Web site.

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