A survey in Asia by Transparency International found that just over one in four people had paid a bribe to access public services during the prior year.
That means about 900 million people had paid bribes in the surveyed countries.
TI talked to nearly 22,000 people from 16 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific region.
Overall, 38 percent of the poorest people surveyed said they had paid a bribe. That’s the highest proportion of any income group, TI said.
Nearly a third of the people in Asia reported that police had demanded a bribe during the past 12 months.
One in five people surveyed thought the level of corruption had decreased recently. Two in five said it had increased. A third said it hadn’t changed.
In China, nearly three-quarters of the people surveyed said corruption increased over the last three years.
TI said corruption undermines equitable and sustainable development in Asia and “distorts democratic processes and promotes private over public interests.”
José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, said bribery “takes food off the table, it prevents education, it impedes proper healthcare, and ultimately it can kill.”
The full survey report is here.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.