Politics

Study Identifies The Most Corrupt States In The Country

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Political corruption runs rampant in both the U.S. and every government across the world. Lobbying, back door deals, blackmailing -- you know the deal.

Have you ever wondered which states in the U.S. have the most corruption? This isn’t an achievement to be proud of, obviously, but someone’s got to sit atop the ranks. Researchers at Indiana University and the University of Hong Kong recently set out to answer to that question, and their findings may surprise you.

The researchers examined over 25,000 cases of politicians convicted on corruption charges from 1976-2008 and tracked various state spending trends in order to develop a corruption index.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

(via Miami New Times)

According to their index, the ten most corrupt states in the country are as follows:

1. Mississippi

2. Louisiana

3. Tennessee

4. Illinois

5. Pennsylvania

6. Alabama

7. Alaska

8. South Dakota

9. Kentucky

10. Florida

Not surprisingly, the most corrupt states listed here are also some of the least economically developed ones in the nation that consistently require the most federal aid to meet residents’ needs.

Another find from the study: corruption is expensive.  In 9 of the 10 most corrupt states, spending was higher than in less corrupt ones. As Fortune notes, the study found that corruption accounts for 5% of all expenditures in the most corrupt states.

Alright, this is a little depressing. Ready for some good news? The study also identified the least corrupt states in the country. Residents of Oregon can sleep well at night knowing that they live in the least corrupt state in the Union. Here’s the rest of the least corrupt top ten:

1. Oregon

2. Washington

3. Minnesota

4. Nebraska

5. Iowa

6. Vermont

7. Utah

8. New Hampshire

9. Colorado

10. Kansas

Sources: Wiley Online Library, Fortune, Miami New Times