Corruption is concealed. Much corruption is never discovered or prosecuted. So, it is impossible to quantify accurately the cost of corruption. The estimates below are more accurately described as guesses rather than estimates, but they do illustrate the potential enormity of the issue internationally.
- The United Nations and World Economic Forum have estimated the global cost of corruption at 5% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Based on the world’s GDP for 2020 of US$ 85 trillion, this would equate to US $4.25 trillion per annum of global stolen funds.
- Transparency International in 2019 estimated that corruption cost developing countries $1.26 trillion per year, and that this was enough money to lift the 1.4 billion people who get by on less than $1.25 a day above the poverty threshold and keep them there for at least six years.
- Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2017 recorded that 25% of persons surveyed worldwide had paid a bribe in the past 12 months so as to access public services such as health care and education.
- In the international construction sector, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 2021 estimated that, without significant interventions, by 2030 up to US$5 trillion could be lost annually to corruption.
If you participate in corruption, you are helping to perpetuate this crisis.