See How Your Area Ranks on the “Government Corruption Scale”

CorruptionThere are areas of the United States that have a longstanding reputation for corruption. Louisiana, for example, has a history of corruption going back to Huey Long. Chicago also has a reputation as a place with an entrenched political machine. But are those reputations still deserved? Data Lab recently published a study, and the results are interesting.

IJReview explains how the study was done:

First, the number of corruption convictions was counted, landing New York, California, and Illinois in the top three places, respectively.

But because those states have higher populations and thus more politicians, the conviction rate per capita was noted in the second column.

The top offenders per capita?

Louisiana
Mississippi
Alaska

New York, California, and Illinois drop to numbers 11, 34, and 6 when taking population into account.

Although these numbers give us a good impression of the illegal dealings in the states, it can’t capture the legal yet unethical actions committed by state politicians.

That’s why Oguzhan Dincer and Michael Johnston of the Harvard University Center for Ethics sought out 280 political journalists from across the country to gather their impressions of the political corruption in their state:

According to reporters, Kentucky ranked #1 in corruption, followed by Illinois and New Jersey.

The researchers found the least corrupt states are:

Nebraska & Oregon (tied at 43.5)
Vermont (41.5)
Iowa (39.5)

So, if you want to live surrounded by a minimum amount of government corruption, you might want to consider these four states.

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