This Is the Most Corrupt State in America

Ethics and integrity take a backseat to convictions and corruption in this duplicitous state.

circle

Every year, the independent anti-corruption organization Transparency International releases its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report, an analysis of misconduct in the public sector of regions around the world. According to the most recent CPI report, the United States ranked 23rd out of 180 countries examined. And while the U.S. has consistently ranked far better in comparison to most parts of the world, the CPI indicates that since 2015, corruption has been steadily increasing across the country. With that in mind, Best Life set out to determine the most corrupt state in America.

To find out where corruption is the biggest problem in America, we used data from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine the number of public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents in all 50 states. The data accounts for "violations of federal law in bribery, extortion, police brutality, theft of government property, and other cases involving breach of the public trust," according to the DOJ.

We also included data on the number of reported violations by doctors and other healthcare providers filed between 1990 and 2020, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank. We included both the number of adverse action reports (legally required to be filed when a doctor or other healthcare practitioner is reprimanded in any number of ways—from being suspended to having their license revoked—due to some form of misconduct or professional incompetence), as well as medical malpractice payment reports (legally required to be filed when a healthcare organization has issued a payment to a patient who was caused physical harm as result of a doctor's negligence).

Then, we referred to the Coalition for Integrity's most recent States With Anti-Corruption Measures for Public Officials report, known as the S.W.A.M.P. index. Each state's laws are evaluated on their scope and establishment of ethics agencies and, most importantly, how effective those agencies actually are. Transparency exercised by public officials accepting gifts is an example of the factors that contribute to each state's score on the index's 100-point scale, where a score of 0 indicates the highest level of corruption possible.

Finally, we looked at the State Integrity Investigation conducted by The Center for Public Integrity. This is another in-depth assessment of accountability and transparency at the state level. The integrity score is based on 245 questions that delve into key indicators such as public access to information, electoral oversight, internal auditing, state pension fund management, ethics enforcement agencies, and judicial accountability. Again, higher scores mean more integrity, while lower ones equal less.

We then gave each one of these five metrics a weighted value and ran them through our exclusive algorithm to calculate how each state scored on our Corruption Index, where 100 is the most corrupt score a state can receive, and 0 is the least. Read on to discover the most corrupt state in America and find out where yours falls in the mix. And for more on unsavory behavior around the country, This Is the Most Dishonest State in America.

Read the original article on Best Life.

50
Kentucky

frankfort kentucky state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Annual public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 9

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 15,837

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,245

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 74 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 0.02

49
Illinois

the capitol building in springfield, illinois
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 6

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 29,683

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 17,743

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 55 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 3.36

48
South Dakota

South Dakota
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 4

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,187

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 855

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 34 out of 100

State integrity score: 56 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 3.87

47
Alaska

alaska state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 3

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,135

Medical malpractice payment reports: 723

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 69 out of 100

State integrity score: 76 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 4.48

46
Montana

capitol building in helena, montana
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 8

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,725

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,845

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 54 out of 100

State integrity score: 64 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 8.28

45
New York

new york state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 11

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 28,013

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 61,363

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 56 out of 100

State integrity score: 61 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 11.44

And for the place where people prefer a slower-paced lifestyle, This Is the Laziest State in America.

44
South Carolina

columbia south carolina state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 20

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 11,763

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 4,737

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 65 out of 100

State integrity score: 60 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 11.98

43
Tennessee

tennessee state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 10

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 18,755

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,922

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 50 out of 100

State integrity score: 66 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 13.04

42
Florida

tallahassee florida state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 18

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 49,169

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 35,315

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 64 out of 100

State integrity score: 61 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 14.34

And for more on the place where money matters most to people, This Is the Greediest State in America.

41
Mississippi

jackson mississippi
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 2

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 14,518

Medical malpractice payment reports: 3,322

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 40 out of 100

State integrity score: 61 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 15.50

40
Louisiana

baton rouge louisiana state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 2

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 26,413

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 9,813

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 48 out of 100

State integrity score: 59 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 18.22

39
Ohio

ohio state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 12

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 45,024

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 15,432

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 61 out of 100

State integrity score: 68 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 19.44

38
Hawaii

hawaii state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 24

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,221

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,217

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 64 out of 100

State integrity score: 69 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 19.79

37
Pennsylvania

harrisburg pennsylvania state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 13

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 31,121

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 36,512

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 51 out of 100

State integrity score: 58 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 20.42

36
Delaware

delaware state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 19

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,891

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,111

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 50 out of 100

State integrity score: 56 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 23.52

35
New Jersey

trenton new jersey state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 17

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 20,905

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 21,368

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 59 out of 100

State integrity score: 65 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 25.10

34
Maryland

maryland state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 21

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 14,640

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 8,799

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 56 out of 100

State integrity score: 64 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 28.67

33
West Virginia

west virginia state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 15

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 7,376

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 4,059

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 63 out of 100

State integrity score: 66 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 28.93

32
Alabama

state capitol in montgomery alabama
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 7

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 23,902

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,398

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 35 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 30.60

31
Massachusetts

massachusetts state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 22

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 15,454

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 10,407

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 56 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 33.48

30
Missouri

Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 23

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 21,593

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 8,116

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 58 out of 100

State integrity score: 62 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 34.79

29
Rhode Island

rhode island state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 28

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,962

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,997

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 75 out of 100

State integrity score: 68 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 35.48

28
Georgia

georgia state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 25

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 14,255

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 9,534

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 40 out of 100

State integrity score: 63 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 37.88

27
Virginia

Virginia state capitol building in the winter in Richmond
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 16

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 31,340

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 6,622

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 35 out of 100

State integrity score: 66 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 41.00

26
Oklahoma

oklahoma state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 12

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 25,849

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 4,741

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 42 out of 100

State integrity score: 59 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 41.25

25
North Dakota

north dakota capitol tower
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 5

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,092

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 657

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 0 out of 100

State integrity score: 59 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 44.01

24
California

sacramento california state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 34

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 85,689

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 52,421

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 75 out of 100

State integrity score: 73 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 44.33

And for exclusive state guides, news, entertainment content, and more delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

23
Arkansas

Little Rock Arkansas
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 30

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 14,248

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,343

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 66 out of 100

State integrity score: 61 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 44.67

22
Kansas

kansas state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 36

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 8,868

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,336

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 72 out of 100

State integrity score: 59 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 45.61

21
Texas

texas state capitol austin texas
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 35

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 93,986

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 28,211

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 62 out of 100

State integrity score: 60 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 48.50

And for more on the place where people are the most unlikely to lend a helping hand, This Is the Most Selfish State in America.

20
Maine

maine state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 27

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,631

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,461

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 48 out of 100

State integrity score: 59 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 49.90

19
Wisconsin

madison wisconsin
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 37

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 12,794

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,550

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 57 out of 100

State integrity score: 63 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 50.50

18
Connecticut

Shutterstock/Real Window Creative

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 29

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 8,207

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,475

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 44 out of 100

State integrity score: 71 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 59.35

17
New Mexico

new mexico state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 31

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,426

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,722

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 36 out of 100

State integrity score: 61 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 63.13

16
Michigan

michigan state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 32

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 32,104

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 19,723

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 28 out of 100

State integrity score: 51 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 66.85

15
Nevada

nevada state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 45

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 9,566

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,018

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 54 out of 100

State integrity score: 57 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 69.90

14
New Hampshire

new hampshire state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 47

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 4,290

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,903

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 67 out of 100

State integrity score: 61 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 70.06

13
Wyoming

wyoming state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 26

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,497

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 738

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 12 out of 100

State integrity score: 51 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 70.53

12
North Carolina

north carolina state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 41

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 21,543

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 6,596

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 42 out of 100

State integrity score: 65 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 70.82

11
Indiana

indiana state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 33

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 17,734

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 8,948

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 28 out of 100

State integrity score: 62 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 71.65

10
Washington

washington state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 49

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 31,330

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 8,378

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 78 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 74.81

9
Nebraska

nebraska state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 43

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 7,643

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,303

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 60 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 77.18

8
Minnesota

minnesota state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 46

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 15,681

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,362

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 46 out of 100

State integrity score: 62 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 78.42

7
Iowa

iowa city old capitol building in iowa before being moved to des moines
iStock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 40

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 10,100

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,480

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 40 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 82.14

6
Idaho

boise idaho skyline
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 39

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 2,921

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 1,190

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 16 out of 100

State integrity score: 62 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 82.26

5
Colorado

colorado state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 44

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 26,103

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 5,369

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 57 out of 100

State integrity score: 67 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 83.35

4
Oregon

oregon state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 50

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 18,012

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,737

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 55 out of 100

State integrity score: 59 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 86.81

3
Arizona

arizona state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 38

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 35,307

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 7,947

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 28 out of 100

State integrity score: 64 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 94.82

2
Utah

city skyline of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah at dusk
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 48

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 7,699

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,673

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 31 out of 100

State integrity score: 62 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 94.90

1
Vermont

vermont state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

Public corruption convictions per 10,000 residents: 42

Adverse action reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 3,753

Medical malpractice reports filed from 1990 to 2020: 831

S.W.A.M.P. index score: 37 out of 100

State integrity score: 60 out of 100

Corruption Index Score: 100.00

And for the place where you'll find some serious cannabis enthusiasts, This Is the Most Stoned State in America.

Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal
GET YOUR FREE GIFT
SUBSCRIBE