US drops out of top 20 in annual global corruption index
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The United States has dropped out of the annual global corruption index compiled by Transparency International for the first time since 2011.

The group's annual report, released Tuesday, lists the United States at No. 22 on the rankings of countries doing the most to battle corruption in government and private industry.

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Business leaders surveyed for the corruption index scored the U.S. at an average of 71 out of a possible score of 100 in terms of dealing with corruption, a drop from 75 points in 2017's report.

Zoe Reiter, Transparency International's acting representative to the United States, called the results a "wake-up call" for American politicians in a statement to Reuters.

"This is a red flag because it's really part of a pattern that we've seen since the 2008 global financial crisis of a loss of trust ... in our public institutions," she told Reuters. "People don't see us as having adequate mechanisms in place to fight corruption and ensure the accountability of our elected officials."

Denmark edges out New Zealand as the least corrupt nation listed. Somalia, Syria and South Sudan make up the bottom of the list.

The U.S. now sits between France and the United Arab Emirates.