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By The Numbers

Have you bribed someone in the past year?

Chau Tu Jul 9, 2013

Think the world has become a better, less-corrupt place? You’re wrong, or at least in the minority.

Fifty-three percent who responded to a global public opinion survey said they believe that corruption in their country has increased or ‘increased a lot’ in the past two years.

In fact, twenty-seven percent of people admitted they had paid a bribe in the last 12 months.

And the bribery isn’t as minor as you might think, according to the nonprofit Transparency International, who conducted the Global Corruption Barometer survey.

In East Africa, the average bribe paid for judicial services in Uganda can cost more than $200. An average income household in Mexico is spending upwards of 14 percent of its income entirely on bribes. Even worse, lower-income households there are spending nearly 33 percent of their income on bribes.

People’s views on corruption seem to be the worst in Liberia and Mongolia (out of the 107 countries surveyed). People in Algeria, Lebanon and Portugal say corruption has gotten increasingly worse in the past two years.

In the U.S., people said political parties were the most corrupt institution; 64 percent of Americans think the government is run by a few big special interests. Worldwide, there’s also a lot of distrust in police and the judicial system.

Still, two in three people around the world do believe that ordinary people can make a difference in fighting corruption.

What do you think? Has corruption gotten worse here in the U.S.?

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