Israel has been ranked by Transparency International as 32nd least corrupt among the world's nations, a rating similar to that which it received in 2008. However both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were ranked above it, or less corrupt.
Israel's score last year was 6, which placed it at 33rd place, and this year it received a 6.1. In 2006 it received a score of 5.9 and was ranked 34th, but in comparison to 1997, during which Israel was ranked 15th least corrupt in the world, its standing has deteriorated.
The first ten places have been traditionally allotted to countries belonging to the OECD, and this year New Zealand was first place, with a score of 9.4. It was followed by Denmark, with a score of 9.3, and Sweden, with a score of 9.2.
At the bottom of the list are Iran, Venezuela, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Chad, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. Somalia received the title of most corrupt country.
In the Middle East, Israel is considered more corrupt than Qatar, ranked 22nd, and the UAE, ranked 31st. Jordan is number 49, Egypt is 111th, Syria is at 126th place, and Lebanon is number 130.
A number of European countries, such as Portugal, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia, were ranked below Israel. Russia, ranked 146th, received the lowest score in Europe.
Chairman of Transparency International in Israel, Joseph Gross, said Israel had been stable in its rating for the past two years. "This score points to a long road ahead, and Israel must bolster its battle against corruption. This rating is important for the preservation of financial stability and the willingness of investors abroad to invest in Israel," Gross said.
Transparency International ranked 180 countries worldwide in 2009, a similar number to that of 2008. In order for a country to be included in the survey it must provide at least three reliable sources regarding its level of corruption. Inclusion in the survey does not signify corruption but rather the presence of this information.