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Once more, Denmark is the world’s least corrupt country

For the second year in a row, Denmark is number one out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by Transparency International. Denmark is therefore the least corrupt country in the world due to a no bribery culture and an open and well-functioning public sector.

Christian Bjørnskov, professor in economics at Aarhus University, who has researched corruption, is not surprised that Denmark is at the top. 

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"We have a special trust culture which makes people very reluctant to pay or accept bribes. It has been like this for 150 years"

Denmark has a solid economy and a well-functioning judiciary – and more importantly an independent judiciary. Our entire society is based on a mutual willingness to rely on the words and actions of others. Generations have proven that trust facilitates cooperation and motivates individuals to give their best performance.


Christian Bjørnskov points out that a certain Northern European culture exists which is also seen in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, among others. Therefore, it is not strange that Denmark and New Zealand share first place with 87 points. 

What is the CPI?

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) measures corruption in regards to bribes and governance of public funding in the public sector among others. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The 2019 CPI draws on 13 surveys and experts assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each score from zero to 100. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.