Almost two thirds of world nations suffer from significant levels of corruption. Transparency International (TI) released a new corruption index on Tuesday.
Lack of transparency, accountability and good governance are behind record levels of global corruption, says the TI report.
This year, TI also mentions the global financial crisis and climate change as phenomena that have fueled corruption in some countries.
For example, for the first time in the 15-year history of the league table, the United States of America has dropped out of the list of top 20 least corrupt countries in the world.
South Africa finds itself ranked in 54th position, while Denmark, placed at the top of TI's table of results is noted as the least corrupt country in the world.
Somalia, which finds itself at the bottom of the table, is listed as the most corrupt country in the world.
Given that TI's corruption index does only measure "perceptions" of corruption, this Al Jazeera feature interrogates the validity of the "perception" versus the "reality" of corruption.
Editor's Note: You may also be interested in Riz Khan's examination of the Culture of Corruption, which highlights the role of Western corporations fueling corruption in third world countries.