Corruption / Statistics

Corruption statistics

Corruption statistics

Due to its nature, the scale of corruption is impossible to quantify with precision. However, there are informed estimates, some of which are quoted in this section. For statistics on particular corruption-related issues, please see the right-hand side menu.

General corruption statistics

The British Virgin Islands got more foreign direct investment in 2013 than the major emerging economies of India and Brazil combined.

Source: The United Nations, Global Investment Trends Monitor UNCTAD report, 2014.
Private-sector corruption in developing countries is a tax on growth, costing at least $500 billion a year - more than three times all foreign assistance in 2012.
Source: The Center for Strategic and International Studies,The Costs of Corruption, 2014.
Nearly half of workers across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India think bribery and corruption are acceptable ways to survive an economic downturn.
More than 40 percent of employees at board and senior manager level said that sales or cost numbers had been manipulated by their company. This included reporting revenue early to meet short-term financial targets, under-reporting costs to meet budget targets, and requiring customers to buy unnecessary stock to meet sales targets.
Source: Ernst and Young, 'Navigating today’s complex business risks Europe, Middle East, India and Africa Fraud Survey 2013', pg. 8 
Fewer than half of respondents knew that their company’s policy contains guidance on gifts or hospitality, and less than a quarter knew of policies on political contributions. More than half of respondents do not know whether their company has specific procedures to guide dealings with government officials.
Illicit Financial Flows, including corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion, cost developing countries US $1.26 trillion per year, which is equivalent to the economies of Switzerland, South Africa and Belgium combined.  This amount of money could lift the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day above this threshold for at least six years. 
Sources: Global Financial Integrity, ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries over the Decade Ending 2009’ (2011) pg. i; World Bank, ‘World Bank Indicators Database’ (2011); Oxfam, Discussion papers, ‘A safe and just space for humanity' (2012), pg. 5
Over 12 months, one in four people paid a bribe when they came into contact with one of nine institutions and services, from health to education to tax authorities.
Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Barometer  (2010), surveying 91,500 people across 86 countries
Nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt), suggesting a perception of widespread corruption among public officials.
Source: Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index (2010)
According to the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, an estimated €120 billion is lost to corruption each year throughout the 27 EU member states.
More detailed statistics are available by clicking on the right-hand menu links

Global indices 

Transparency International (TI) produces several global indices on a regular basis – Corruption Perceptions Index, the Bribe Payers Index, and the Global Corruption Barometer. The Global Corruption Barometer in particular is a rich source of statistics on global opinion on corruption.