What is CPI?

This abbreviation stands for Corruption Perception Index, an annual ranking of countries across the world first composed by Transparency International in 1995. The rating reflects the perception of corruption from 100 (no corruption) to 0 (strong corruption). The countries are ranked by the level of corruption based on a combination of independent surveys and assessments of the corruption level. Prominent international finance and advocacy experts participate in this research, including those from the World Bank, Freedom House, World Economic Forum, Asian and African development banks etc.

Why is it corruption perception exactly that CPI is based on?

Corruption usually encompasses illegal activity which is purposefully concealed and can be revealed only as the result of scandals, investigations or presented accusations. Therefore, it is very hard to assess the level of corruption in various countries and territories based on official data only. Assessment of the corruption level by means of calculating the bribes, accusations or legal action against corrupt officials would be insufficient to understand the actual situation. These data rather characterize the quality of work done by prosecutors, courts or the media concerning detecting and investigating corruption. Therefore, expert perception of the relative corruption levels is a more reliable method.