Before you move to a foreign country, it is essential to evaluate various factors like cost of living, population, government status, tax infrastructure, safety, and citizenship by investment programs available in the respective country. To determine the world’s least corrupt countries, you can check the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), published annually by the non-governmental organization Transparency International since 1995. The Index ranks the countries according to their transparency scores, from the least to the most corrupt.
In this article, we will take you through the least corrupt countries in the world so that you can make your decision seamlessly before immigrating.
Top 5 Least Corrupt Countries in the World
Before we move to the list of the top 5 least corrupt countries in the world, you will notice that most are Scandinavian countries. In addition, most European nations also feature in this coveted list. In this section below, we will help you to know more about the five countries that have the reputation of being the least corrupt nations globally.
Apart from being one of the world’s most beautiful countries, Switzerland is also known for its fairness and transparency. The country is famous for being a righteous nation and is very strict regarding its anti-bribery policies. For instance, as per Switzerland’s criminal code, giving and taking bribes is a criminal offense. But that said, there are certain flaws in the country’s legal ecosystem.
Since the government is also the headquarters of FIFA, Switzerland comes under scrutiny for various malpractices. There is also inevitable unrest in the country with regard to the nation’s elite class, as most natives of Switzerland don’t trust the country’s ruling elite class. Since the elites in the country dominate most of the businesses across the nation, most Swiss people cannot trust their bosses, as they seem to have molded everything at their convenience. But all these factors are not enough to undermine the safe and corruption-free ecosystem that Switzerland has.
Sweden is a charming and corruption-free country situated on the Scandinavian peninsula in the northern part of Europe. The country has the reputation of having one of the highest standards of living in the world – be it educational opportunities, healthcare facilities, or entertainment options, it is reputed to have world-class infrastructure.
To curb corrupt practices in the country, Sweden has also formed an anti-corruption unit and is working to ensure maximum transparency as per Swedish ideology and international standards. Although the private sector of Sweden has been subjected to investigations owing to the presence of significant private sector companies, the country’s public sector has been mostly out of controversies related to malpractices.
With a population of over 5.6 million, Finland is a country with a good Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI score. With efforts from the public and private sectors, the government has kept corruption down to a minimum level and therefore has achieved the title of the least corrupt nation over the years.
Although corruption cases have been lodged, especially in 2016, by the NGO Transparency International, there can be no country with a perfect CPI score.
Another Scandinavian country, Denmark comprises various islands. The country is geographically small, with fewer people but has an excellent standard of living. Be it culture, politics, judicial system, healthcare, or education, Denmark excels on all fronts. The country has an aggressive zero-tolerance policy regarding corruption, and it ensures that it applies to all, including public sector institutions, leaders, and ministers. This shows that the country is actively curbing all illegal practices to make it the least corrupt country.
Previously, Denmark had already achieved the title of the least corrupt nation four times in a row. But due to certain cases that involved malpractices carried out by ministers, the country slipped down from the top position. But that being said, currently, the country is making significant progress in making sure that the nation is corruption free.
In the last ten years, New Zealand had secured the top position of being the least corrupt country in the world eight times. But a recent study by Panama Papers indicates the country has also been involved in the Saudi sheep deal and Skycity casino. This reflects the fact that much like Denmark, New Zealand has become content as it has already achieved the coveted title many times.
But in spite of that, you must note that the government of New Zealand has initiated various anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws. Moreover, the country also has revaluated its extradition protocols to make its policies free from any manipulation.
Criteria Evaluated to Declare Countries Corruption-Free
To determine the levels of corruption in any country, Transparency International, the NGO that publishes the CPI Index, takes into consideration the following factors:
- Press Freedom
- Access to official information for the general public
- Fundamental rights
- Absence of corruption
The countries mentioned above have been able to excel in all these fields to rank among the top 5 countries out of a list featuring 180 countries across the world.
Citizenship by Investment 2023
If you are planning to obtain a second citizenship in a country, Citizenship by Investment Programs can be the perfect fit for you. Through a Citizenship by Investment program, you can obtain citizenship by investing a certain sum of money in the country’s economy.
Citizenship by Investment – Benefits
- In comparison to other routes to obtain Citizenship in a country, CBI programs are much faster
- Citizenship by Investment Programs help you plan your taxes better
- Your second passport acts as insurance for you
- A second passport gives you visa-free access to various parts of the world
- CBI programs offers your entire family security and safety
- With a second passport, you get to explore more business opportunities
- The application process of the Citizenship by Investment Programs are nearly seamless
- You get the opportunity to relocate, live, and work in a country of your choice
How to choose a suitable country?
Before you decide to obtain a second passport through Citizenship by Investment, you need to consider the following important factors:Crime rate
- Corruption rate of the country
- Political Stability
- Health of the economy
- State of healthcare infrastructure
- Educational opportunities available
- Ability to work in the respective country or not
- Climate conditions
- Banking and financial freedom
- Possibility of dual citizenship
- The status of the real estate market
- Power of the Passport
- If the nation is expat friendly or not
- Availability of embassy or consulate support
- Freedom of expression and human rights in the country
- Geographical location of the country – whether the country is prone to natural disasters or not
- Language barrier if any
To know more about Citizenship by Investment in detail, you can read our article: Citizenship by Investment Guide 2023
Citizenship by Investment Countries List
If you are planning to obtain a second citizenship, it is important to consider various factors, not just corruption. In this comprehensive list below, we will help you understand the various benefits offered by the Citizenship by Investment programs of the countries we work with.
|Austria||Starts from €2 million
|Antigua and Barbuda||Starts from $100,000
|Bulgaria||Starts from €511,292
|Belgium||Starts from €200,000
|Cayman Islands||Starts from $2.4 million
|Curacao||Starts from $280,000
|Dominica||Starts from $100,000
|Germany||Starts from €360,000
|Greece||Starts from €250,000
|Grenada||Starts from $150,000
|Ireland||Starts from €1 million
|Italy||Starts from €250,000
|Luxembourg||Starts from €500,000
|Malta||Starts from €690,000
|Moldova||Starts from €100,000 donation
|Montenegro||Starts from €450,000
|Portugal||Starts from €280,000
|Spain||Starts from €500,000
|St Kitts & Nevis||Starts from $150,000 donation
|St Lucia||Starts from $100,000
|Turkey||Starts from €400,000
|UK||Starts from £2 million
|USA||Starts from $900,000|
|Vanuatu||Starts from $130,000
If you are interested in obtaining a second passport and moving to any of the above countries, please visit our article: Citizenship by Investment Countries List & Guide 2023 for more details.
Citizenship by Investment – Requirements
In order to obtain citizenship by investment in any country, you need to fulfill certain requirements. As per the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program, each nation has a different set of criteria that an applicant needs to adhere to. For instance, in a few countries, an applicant has to pass a medical examination to prove that they are in good health condition. But mostly, these are the basic requirements of the major CBI programs across the world:
- The applicant needs to be 18 years or older
- The applicant must have no criminal record
- The applicant should have a good character
- The amount that the applicant will invest should originate from a legitimate source
Citizenship by Investment – Investment Options
There are various ways through which you can route your investment in the country of your choice under Citizenship by Investment Programs.
Transfer of Funds or Government Bonds – This is the fastest way through which you can obtain Citizenship by Investment. In this case, if your application is rejected, your investment sum will be returned to you.
Real estate investment- Investment in real estate is expensive and involves more paperwork and legalities. But in the long run, citizenship obtained through real estate investment can be more profitable, dispending on the country of investment.
Donation- In return for a significant amount of donation, you can obtain citizenship in certain countries.
To know more about Citizenship by Investment Programs of various regions, read our article: Citizenship by Investment Comparison Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the least corrupt countries in Asia?
As per CPI scores, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Bhutan, and Taiwan are the top five least corrupt countries in Asia.
Name the least corrupt countries in Africa?
Seychelles, Botswana, Cape Verde, Rwanda, and Mauritius are the least corrupt African countries.
Which is the least corrupt country in Europe?
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, published by the global NGO Transparency International,, Denmark is the least corrupt country in Europe.
Is New Zealand the least corrupt country in the world?
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2022, New Zealand ranks at Number 2, just after Denmark. But it occupied the number one in the ranking previously for several years. Therefore it can be hailed as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.