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The top countries for paying bribes

Posting in Education

Surf's up in Liberia, and so are the bribes. Over 75 percent of respondents there and in Sierra Leone reported giving money under the table. Over half in India and 11 other countries reported the same.

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More than one out of four individuals in 107 countries paid bribes within the last year, when global corruption increased and people often had to grease palms to receive government services.

And that doesn't even include China, where it seems that pervasive corruption prevented a study of such practices.

Those are just some of the findings from the sobering 2013 installment of the Global Corruption Barometer survey by Berlin-based Transparency International (TI). The study revealed that corruption is at its highest in Liberia and Sierra Leone. More than 75 percent of respondents reported giving payola to government providers in those two nations.

The story was not much cleaner in India, one of the global economy's growth engines, where between 50 and 74.9 percent of respondents also engaged in under-the-table dealings. India was joined in the 50-to-74.9 percent category by a host of African countries as well as by Cambodia and Yemen (see infographic below).

TI did not include data on China because, a spokesperson told me, it could not find a company willing to conduct inquiries there. "A number of different local survey companies were approached and they did not feel that it would be possible to implement a survey of this nature in China without omitting many of the questions," the spokesperson said.

The backhanding business was an equal opportunity one, as demonstrated by a fantastic set of interactive maps on the Transparency International website. TI breaks down the illicit activity not only across countries, but also across a swath of corrupt institutions including police, military, legislatures, political parties, NGOs, educational, medical, religious, media, business and more.

You can view the maps here and you can download a full version of the report here. Good luck keeping your eyes off this material. It's a must see for grafters and their enemies alike the world over.

Here's one of the many infographics, showing the top countries for bribes. TI does not list Russia in this category because it deemed Russian bribery information as "unreliable," the spokesperson said. TI includes Russia in the broader corruption report. You can download more infographics at the report link above and below:

LIberia surf photo from Rusty.com. Infographic from Transparency International.

Note: I updated this story at 7:30 a.m. Pacific time to include direct comments from TI on China and Russia. -- MH

More SmartPlanet bribery:

Report from Liberia:

— By on July 9, 2013, 10:43 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure