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Finland again ranks among world's least corrupt countries

Meanwhile, the index ranked Somalia, Syria and South Sudan as the most corrupt on the list of 180 countries and territories.

Following close behind Finland, Denmark and New Zealand were Norway, Singapore and Sweden. Image: Kai Pfaffenbach / EPA

Finland has again ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, according to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index.

Every year, the index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.

This year, the countries deemed least corrupt included Finland, Denmark and New Zealand, each of which ranked (siirryt toiseen palveluun) 88 out of a scale of zero to 100.

Following close behind the top three were Norway, Singapore and Sweden, which shared a ranking of 85.

More than two-thirds of the 180 countries and territories on this year's list scored below 50. The year's average global score remained "static" at 43 and since 2012, a total of 25 countries had significantly improved their rankings while 23 had significantly declined on the scale, according to the organisers.

Corruption levels tend to increase in countries which are faced with armed conflict or authoritarian governments, including Venezuela (with a score of 14), Afghanistan (16), North Korea (16), Yemen (16), Equatorial Guinea (17), Libya (17) and Turkmenistan (19)

This year's index found the most corrupt countries to be Somalia, Syria and South Sudan.