Visualizing Corruption Around the World
Growing levels of public sector corruption can stifle a country’s economic growth while also chipping away at political freedom.
Which parts of the world are perceived to be most corrupt – and further, how does this data differ between regions, and how has it trended over time?
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI)
Today’s chart pulls its numbers from the recent 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index report, which has been published by Transparency International annually since 1995. The report scores 180 countries, and is considered the world’s most widely-used barometer for corruption.
However, before we dive in to the data, it’s worth taking a quick look at the methodology behind the report:
- The CPI attempts to measure perceptions about corruption in a country, rather than corruption itself
- Specifically, it is focused on the public sector of countries, which includes governments and government-run institutions
- The CPI is a composite index, using the results from 13 separate reports and surveys to calculate an overall score
- Scores range from 0 (most corrupt) to 100 (most clean)
Finally, it’s also worth noting that in the chart, we’ve added in government types as rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit – they range from “Full Democracy” to “Autocratic Regime”.
The Most and Least Corrupt Places
What do experts and businesspeople see as the most and least corrupt global regions?
|Region||Average Score (CPI)|
|Western Europe & EU||66|
|Middle East & North Africa||39|
|Eastern Europe & Central Asia||35|
Western Europe has the highest score on average, while Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest (most corrupt) average score. The Americas ranks just above the global average score of 43, mainly because the average is skewed by the lower scores of many countries in Latin America (such as Venezuela) and the Caribbean (such as Haiti).
Now, let’s look at the top 10 countries overall:
|Rank||Country||Score (CPI)||Government type||Region|
|#1||Denmark||88||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
|#2||New Zealand||87||Full democracy||Asia Pacific|
|#3||Finland||85||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
|#3||Singapore||85||Flawed democracy||Asia Pacific|
|#3||Sweden||85||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
|#3||Switzerland||85||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
|#7||Norway||84||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
|#8||Netherlands||82||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
|#9||Luxembourg||81||Full democracy||Western Europe & EU|
Here’s also a look at the world’s 20 most populous countries:
As the report notes, the relation between democracy and corruption appears to be quite clear: the more democratic a regime is, the less corrupt it is perceived to be. Using the Economist Intelligence Unit rankings, there are no “Hybrid” or “Autocratic” regimes that come anywhere near the top 10.
The closest may be the U.A.E. – which is classified as an Autocratic Regime – which has a CPI score of 70, good for 23rd place globally.
Trends Over Time
Over the last seven years, the report notes that there were a few specific countries that have consistently trended in one direction or another.
Hungary: The country has seen a -9 point change to its CPI score since 2012, dropping to 46 points in total. That’s just a notch above the global average.
Turkey: Turkey’s rating has deteriorated from 49 to 41 over the 2012-2018 time period.
Argentina: The South American nation has seen its score rise by eight points over the 2012-2018 time period.
Guyana: Guyana has gained nine points – a significant improvement over its original score of 28 at the start of that time period.
What will be the next country to jump up (or down) the list – and what factors will lead to this change in perception?
Note: The color-coding on the map has been updated to better reflect CPI scores. Ukraine was incorrectly classified as an Autocratic Regime.
Charted: Tesla’s Unrivaled Profit Margins
This infographic compares Tesla’s impressive profit margins to various Western and Chinese competitors.
Chart: Tesla’s Unrivaled Profit Margins
In January this year, Tesla made the surprising announcement that it would be cutting prices on its vehicles by as much as 20%.
While price cuts are not new in the automotive world, they are for Tesla. The company, which historically has been unable to keep up with demand, has seen its order backlog shrink from 476,000 units in July 2022, to 74,000 in December 2022.
This has been attributed to Tesla’s robust production growth, which saw 2022 production increase 41% over 2021 (from 930,422 to 1,313,851 units).
With the days of “endless” demand seemingly over, Tesla is going on the offensive by reducing its prices—a move that puts pressure on competitors, but has also angered existing owners.
Cranking up the Heat
Tesla’s price cuts are an attempt to protect its market share, but they’re not exactly the desperation move some media outlets have claimed them to be.
Recent data compiled by Reuters shows that Tesla’s margins are significantly higher than those of its rivals, both in terms of gross and net profit. Our graphic only illustrates the net figures, but gross profits are also included in the table below.
|Company||Gross profit per car||Net profit per car|
Data from Q3 2022
Price cutting has its drawbacks, but one could argue that the benefits for Tesla are worth it based on this data—especially in a critical market like China.
Tesla has taken the nuclear option to bully the weaker, thin margin players off the table.
– Bill Russo, Automobility
In the case of Chinese EV startups Xpeng and Nio, net profits are non-existent, meaning it’s unlikely they’ll be able to match Tesla’s reductions in price. Both firms have reported year-on-year sales declines in January.
As for Tesla, Chinese media outlets have claimed that the firm received 30,000 orders within three days of its price cut announcement. Note that this hasn’t been officially confirmed by anyone within the company.
Tit for Tat
Ford made headlines recently for announcing its own price cuts on the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. The model is a direct competitor to Tesla’s best-selling Model Y.
Chevrolet and Hyundai have also adjusted some of their EV prices in recent months, as listed in the following table.
|Model||Old Price||New Price||Discount|
|Tesla Model Y Long Range||$65,990||$53,490||18.9%|
|Chevrolet Bolt EUV 2023||$33,500||$27,200||18.8%|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||$69,990||$56,990||18.6%|
|Chevrolet Bolt 2023||$31,600||$26,500||16.1%|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||$62,990||$53,990||14.3%|
|Hyundai Kona Electric 2022||$37,390||$34,000||9.1%|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Extended Range||$69,900||$64,000||8.4%|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||$46,990||$43,990||6.4%|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD||$57,675||$53,995||6.4%|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E RWD Standard Range||$46,900||$46,000||1.9%|
Source: Observer (Feb 2023)
Volkswagen is a noteworthy player missing from this table. The company has been gaining ground on Tesla, especially in the European market.
We have a clear pricing strategy and are focusing on reliability. We trust in the strength of our products and brands.
– Oliver Blume, CEO, VW Group
This decision could hamper Volkswagen’s goal of becoming a dominant player in EVs, especially if more automakers join Tesla in cutting prices. For now, Tesla still holds a strong grip on the US market.
Recent Tesla buyers became outraged when the company announced it would be slashing prices on its cars. In China, buyers even staged protests at Tesla stores and delivery centers.
Recent buyers not only missed out on a better price, but their cars have effectively depreciated by the amount of the cut. This is a bitter turn of events, given Musk’s 2019 claims that a Tesla would be an appreciating asset.
I think the most profound thing is that if you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset – not a depreciating asset.
– Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla
These comments were made in reference to Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) capabilities, which Elon claimed would enable owners to turn their cars into robotaxis.
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