PARIS — Perceptions of corruption in the United States have worsened over the past year, knocking it out of the top 20 in global rankings released Tuesday by the watchdog group Transparency International in Berlin.

The top and bottom three countries on the list remain unchanged from 2009: Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are seen as having the world’s cleanest governments, while Somalia, Afghanistan and Myanmar, are seen to have the most corrupt. Finland, Sweden, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Norway rounded out the top 10. Japan ranked 17, Britain ranked 20.

The United States, which ranked 19th in 2009, fell to 22. Also falling in the rankings were the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar, Niger and Russia, which took the 154th slot. China ranked 78, up from 79 last year, according to the 2010 corruption perceptions index. The index, which seeks to gauge domestic, public sector corruption, is figured with data compiled from surveys of country experts and business leaders, and relies on perceptions rather than legal findings, which can differ sharply across borders depending on enforcement.

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Ref: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/US-Falls-in-Annual-Corruption-nytimes-733991935.html
http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results

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