The 10 Most Corrupt States in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Creative Commons When we think of government corruption (as one tends to do), our biased minds often gravitate to thoughts of military juntas and third world governments. But, of course, corruption is everywhere, in one form or another. And it’s costing U.S. citizens big time.

A new study from researchers at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Indiana estimates that corruption on the state level is costing Americans in the 10 most corrupt states an average of $1,308 per year, or 5.2% of those states’ average expenditures per year.

The researchers studied more than 25,000 convictions of public officials for violation of federal corruption laws between 1976 and 2008 as well as patterns in state spending to develop a corruption index that estimates the most and least corrupt states in the union. Based on this method, the the most corrupt states are:


1. Mississippi
2. Louisiana
3. Tennessee
4. Illinois
5. Pennsylvania
6. Alabama
7. Alaska
8. South Dakota
9. Kentucky
10. Florida

Read more from this story HERE.

  • IVDAD

    How did California, New York and New Jersey miss the list.

    • gracentruth

      Perhaps they are so corrupt, they have not been caught. Peace,

      • Tim Mayeaux

        rigged the poll (like always)

    • jjnu

      Note that the measure was cost per American so that in a large population state like CA or NY or NJ or IL has a large divisor so while the gross amount of corruption or corrupt officials may be larger, the per capita amount is smaller.

  • vigilannie2

    This is so bogus to me…..the obvious states were just to smart to be caught….(this was based on convictions – just means the top liberal states weasel-worm their way out of convictions – or the cover-ups are great…)

  • c69101

    South Dakota? Oh come on.

    • HW

      Based on population so if SD had 1 conviction probably put it toward the top

  • howler1968

    The Univ of Hong Kong???????????????

  • James

    I cannot believe that Illinois is listed as fourth.. I believe should be first, although I do believe that the criteria was for convicted officials. In Illinois like in Washington, if you are a democrat you cannot be convicted of anything. It does not mean that you did not do it, It only means that those trying you were fearful that they would be next so they voted for acquittal.

  • Jben

    I don’t believe anything the U. of Hong Kong says! California and NY not on the list and Illinois # 4?

  • Nevadan

    What about Harry Reid’s corrupt Nevada?

  • disgusted

    What about Washington DC, the most corrupt place on the planet?

    • gracentruth

      Oh yes, true. But D.C. but I thought that D.C. was not considered a state – like the Vatican??? Peace,

    • ldazzle

      DC is the District of Corruption, I had a young guy ask me waht DC meant, so I told him.

  • SIRWIZARD

    The most obvious players are absent from this list. Looks like a list compiled by a LIBERAL Committee.

  • JDH

    How did Illinois not take the number one spot? Our favorite retirement home for our governors and many other state and Chicago politicians seems to be a federal penitentiary.

  • Silverback

    I call bogus as well. Just because a state has a high number of convictions tells me they are fighting corruption. The fact Illinois or New Jersey and New York isn’t #1 on the list makes it a joke.

  • gracentruth

    And I wonder why Alaska is not number one. Juneau, our capital is not even accessible except by plane for most of our population. People have voted to move it nearer the center of the state on the road system, but the Juneau mafia keeps it away from us. And the diebold machines used to “program” elections are guarded by the election officials who “count” the votes. AND the state government is busy creating and passing deficit budgets. Yup, Alaska should be number one. Peace,

  • harrycobalt

    as governor palin tried to do something about corruption from both dems and repubs and she was criticised.elect joe miller if you want honest conservative representation to offset the liberal murkowski

  • MrChicken

    Some (most) of the southern states listed here actually prosecute their criminals. States like Illinois, give them raises, reelect them and congratulate them for their dishonesty. This study was totally flawed.

  • Stealth

    WHERE the hell is COMMUNISTICUT?? It should DEFINITELY be on the list…maybe at the TOP!

    • ldazzle

      I couldn’t believe this one either.

    • Tim Mayeaux

      Taxsechuttets?

  • PhilinIN

    Kentucky is on there because the Dems in the state keep filing bogus charges against the Republicans.

  • Tim Mayeaux

    Think the power of an oppressive government doesn’t have lasting effects? The LAST place on earth that should be socialist is the occupied South. It is long pass time to leave the Evil Empire. Separate, abolish, alter. SECEDE! Death to tyrants.

  • WetNWild_1974

    Massachusetts – how dare you forget that liberal wasteland!

  • 946towguy

    This article makes very little sense. It lists the states in order of corruption convictions per capita, without regard to the amount of corruption. It would be like saying that a high crime state like Illinois or California, that fails to prosecute criminals has very low crime.

    The reality is that the most corrupt states, that seldom prosecute corrupt politicians will stay off the list.

  • Steve

    I like how they are all republican states. Joe you are not a good person. I will celebrate your loss joyfully!