What is the 'Corruption Perceptions Index - CPI'

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) scores countries on how corrupt their governments are believed to be. It is published by Transparency International, an organization that seeks to stop bribery and other forms of public corruption. A country's score can range from zero to 100, with zero indicating high levels of corruption and 100 indicating low levels. Transparency International launched the index in 1995, and today it scores 180 countries and territories.

BREAKING DOWN 'Corruption Perceptions Index - CPI'

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has been measured with different methodologies from year to year, making yearly comparisons difficult. But in 2012, the methodology was modified again, this time to allow for comparisons across time.

According to Transparency International, the new methodology involves four basic steps, including selection of source data, rescaling source data, aggregating the rescaled data and a statistical measure indicating the level of certainty. A quality control mechanism is also incorporated into the process. This consists of independent data collection and calculations by two in-house researchers and two independent researchers from academia.

Corruption Perceptions Index Sources

In 2017, Transparency International used 13 sources as the basis for its country scores. Sources included the African Development Bank, the World Bank, a survey of executives at the World Economic Forum, country risk ratings from the Economist Intelligence Unit and country risk ratings from Global Insight, among others.

Sources must document their data collection methods and measurement approach, and Transparency International assesses the quality and adequacy of these methodologies. If data is collected via a business survey, for example, Transparency International will assess whether the survey's sample size is large enough to be representative.

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