The 8 worst countries on Transparency International's list

The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, released annually by Transparency International, shows northern Europe continues to be perceived as the world's least corrupt region, with six countries taking the top 10 spots. The island-state of Singapore climbed into first place this year with New Zealand and Denmark.

The United States fell behind Chile and into 22nd place, marking the first time it failed to rank in the top 20. Russia ranked worst among global powers, falling from 146th place to 154th place, tied with Cambodia.

Nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index were below five on a scale of 0 (high corruption) to 10 (low corruption). That means not just the following countries have a corruption problem.

1. Chad

Ranked fifth from last, Chad is as unstable as it is corrupt. "Growing oil wealth, complex ethnic ties that transcend borders (in this case, with Sudan), and ambitious presidents aiming to stay in power longer than their constitutions originally allowed" are all factors that make Chad something of a microcosm for the conflicts in Africa, the Monitor has reported.

Chad ranks 178 out of 180 in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. According to the US State Department's 2010 Investment Climate Statement, a nationwide anticorruption campaign has attracted broad public support, but its impact on the business climate "remains to be seen." "Corruption exists at all levels of government, along with impunity, particularly for those in uniform," according to the report.

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