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See the World Rankings of Dirty Governments -- and the 16 Countries Supposedly Less Corrupt Than the U.S.


The "biggest fallers" include...

Image via Transparency International

The U.S. is getting better, China is getting worse and Scandinavia reigns supreme.

The measurement: How corrupt is each country?

Transparency International released its 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index results on Wednesday, revealing what nations are worst when it comes to bad governance, untrusted police and media and "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain."

The dirtiest: Somalia and North Korea

Somalia and North Korea tied at No. 174 for the dubious distinction of the most corrupt nation on the planet — on a scale of 0 (totally corrupt) to 100 (totally clean), both nations scored an abysmal 8.

Image via Transparency International Image via Transparency International

China's slipping

China slipped all the way from No. 80 on the 2013 list to No. 100 on this year's list, a drop that Transparency International said made China one of the "biggest fallers."

“The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain,” said José Ugaz, the chair of Transparency International, in a news release.

“Corrupt officials smuggle ill-gotten assets into safe havens through offshore companies with absolute impunity,” Ugaz added. “Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.”

Big divide in North America

The U.S. clocked in at No. 17 on the list, up two spots from last year and sharing the rank with Ireland, Hong Kong and Barbados.

See the 16 nations that the list said were less corrupt than the U.S. below:

Image via Transparency International Image via Transparency International

Mexico, on the other hand, was all the way down at No. 103.

Image via Transparency International Image via Transparency International

The cleanest: Denmark

The least corrupt nation in the world, according to Transparency International: tiny Denmark.

Image via Transparency International Image via Transparency International

"[T]op performer Denmark has strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions," the organization noted.

New Zealand nabbed the No. 2 spot, while Denmark's Scandinavian comrades Finland, Sweden and Norway filled out the rest of the top five.

Explore the full rankings in the interactive map below:

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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