Chart of the Day: Where Does Corruption Live in America?

Visualizing where the levels of crooks in government are highest

UScorruption.banner2.jpg
Good / Column Five

Corruption is hot these days. A verdict in the John Edwards case is expected imminently. A top aide to D.C Mayor Vince Gray faces jail time for obstructing justice, while a former Washington City Council member was just sentenced to three years in prison for stealing from youth programs. Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel has returned $150,000 in donations after reports that they may have come from questionable practices. And in a boon to crooks across the Land of Lincoln, Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney in Illinois and scourge of the corrupt, announced on Wednesday he's stepping down.

Of course, it's not as if corruption ever went out of style. This infographic from Good and Column Five does a great job of visualizing the worst states for corruption since 1976. There aren't many surprises: commensurate with the examples above, D.C. tops the list, and Illinois and Ohio make appearances too. What's amazing is just how much more corrupt the nation's capital is than any other jurisdiction -- even famously, laughably crooked Louisiana -- when measured per capita. To be sure, it's not a totally fair metric: There's simply more government per capita in Washington than anywhere else.

Check out a larger version of this infographic, with some additional info, over at Good.

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Politics

Just In