Most Corrupt States
The Daily Beast has examined a wide range of available data to rank the level of corruption in all 50 states. Each of the following data sets was weighted equally:
•Public corruption, 1998—2008: Convictions of elected and other public officials investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Department of Justice.
•Racketeering and Extortion, 1998—2008: Code for organized crime convictions, also investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
•Forgery and Counterfeiting, 1999—2008: Arrest numbers for producing or distributing fake money and goods over a 10-year period, from the FBI.
•Fraud, 1999—2008: Arrests for false statements or documents produced for personal gain over a 10-year period, from the FBI.
•Embezzlement, 1999—2008: Arrests for surreptitious theft of money over a 10-year period, from the FBI.
By using a decade’s worth of federal data, the Daily Beast was able to minimize the effect of local law enforcement efficacy, though some flaws remain: local cases go undocumented, and the FBI data is self-reported by local law enforcement. When combined, however, the data provides a fairly deep look into which jurisdictions are uncovering the most corruption.