For the first time since 2011, the United States failed to make the top 20 on Transparency International’s annual corruption index, dropping to number 22 — but President Donald Trump is a symptom rather than the cause, TI said.
According to TIME, the report connects the rise in autocratic leaders with a global erosion of democracy.
“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International (TI).
The Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, found overall that the failure to control corruption is contributing to a “crisis of democracy around the world.”
The U.S. has fallen four points under Trump, dropping to a score of 71 out of 100.
“The low score comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power,” according to TI.