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How corruption affects businesses around the world, in 5 charts

Ravi Kumar's picture

We know corruption in developing countries affects poor people the most. It also impacts firms in many ways.

Here are five charts showing how corruption is affecting businesses from South Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa.

These charts are based on surveys of more than 13,000 firms in 135 countries, by World Bank Enterprise Surveys. It collects data directly from firms to study an economy’s private sector.



Over 50% of companies in Middle East and North Africa identify corruption as a major constraint


1 in 4 companies in South Asia are expected to give "gifts" to get an operating license


27% of companies in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to give "gifts" to public officials "to get things done"


Almost half of firms in South Asia are expected to give "gifts" to secure a government contract


​1 in 3 firms are expected to give "gifts" to get a construction permit in East Asia and Pacific

Everyday corruption can seem almost impossible to fight. Check out this video to find out 10 ways you could fight corruption.


Are you surprised to see these charts? What are other ways we could fight corruption? Tell us in the comments.


Submitted by Mitchell Wiener on

Interesting that LAC is at the bottom of every chart...except the first. What is the explanation for that?

Submitted by KP Sharma on

Extensive use of technology. Transparent & more communicating Government.Public shaming & social isolation may be more effective.

Submitted by Jason Joseph on

There is bunch of people who spread the cancer of corruption. Excessive focus on Profits leads to short cuts and eventually corruption. Corruption in this region can stagnate real growth and fuel poverty.

Submitted by George PS on

awareness building, good governance and strict action against the guilty.Youth should be more oriented against corruption for they are the decisive force in stopping it.

Submitted by Ismaila A. Hassan on

The poor is always at the receiving end, and pays for the woes of bad governance. Governance has rotten, it needs to be repaired if it is not beyond.

Submitted by chipo paul mudenda on

the state of affairs is worse than an on looker would imagine. while the stand to benefit from the investment 'both local and foreign' the issue of bribery in form of gifts to get an operating licence or to secure a meeting with a high official in government with regard to investment, discourages well meaning investment and encourages bogus investment. due to this trend which is growing at a very fast rate corrupt investors are attracted to these countries. the same investors are much more involved in scandles of evading tax which one of the major sources of revenue for developing countries. the statistics we receive from watchdog institution, despite being official they don't really reflect a true picture of the state of corruption because some of the cases go unreported. the poor suffer more as there are no proper and sustainable jobs, governments due to loss of revenue through tax evasion, social benefits are not provided, education and health are affected as the governments are not able to procure much needed facilities. therefore, i believe it is not all about the watchdog institution to curb this problem, the will and ability of government to serve the citizens matters. there is also need for professionalism and morality by government officials. they should be able to look beyond personal benefits, if these countries were to grow socially, economically and politically.

Submitted by mohamed on

التخلص من الفساد يحتاج حزمة من التشريعات والقوانين الجديدة التى تحد من ظاهرة الفساد والقضاء عليه بتشديد الرقابة بهيئة مستقلة وفتح الشباك ا

Submitted by Yaw Preko on

In Africa, we need stronger institutions not tyrants who put individual interest before public interest and cannot be questioned. I also think corruption is gradually becoming a norm and the need to publicise acts that are corrupt will help save the younger generation from being engulfed with the abnormal norms of the current generation

Submitted by Innocent Matshe on

Strong institutions with a highly qualified, competent, and well remunerated workforce.

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