Turkey, Angola, and China are just a few countries that fared worst than last year in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index released today.

The index ranks countries on a scale of zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Of the 175 countries ranked in this year's index, 121 scored below 50, signaling that public companies need to be more transparent, and government officials held more accountable.

Turkey slipped from 53rd place in 2013 to 64th place this year out of 175 countries around the world where perceptions on corruption were measured. Angola fell eight places from 153 in 2013 to 161 this 2014. China also fell from 36th place in 2013 to 40th in 2014, despite the Chinese government launching an anti-corruption campaign targeting corrupt public officials who hide ill-gotten gains overseas.

The remaining BRIC countries did not fare much better: Brazil ranked 69th, with a score of 43; India ranked 85th, with a score of 38; and Russia ranked 136th, with a score of 27.

Among the emerging economies, Brazil ranks 69th (score of 43), India 85th (score of 38), China 100th (score of 36) and Russia 136th (score of 27). - See more at: http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2014/12/3/ti-releases-2014-corruption-perce...

Countries that improved their scores include Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Swaziland, each jumping up four rankings. Still, these countries continue to score poorly overall. Afghanistan moved up from 175th place in 2013 to 172nd place in 2014. Jordan, Swaziland, and Mali ranked 55th, 69th, and 115th, respectively, in 2014.

The United States placed 17th, up two spots from its 2013 ranking. The last three years mark an improvement from the 2011 index, when the United States ranked 24th. Still, it received an overall score of 74 this year, essentially unchanged from its score of 73 in 2013.

Denmark comes out on top in 2014 with a score of 92. Aside from having a strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behavior of those in public positions, “it also set an example this November, announcing plans to create a public register including beneficial ownership information for all companies incorporated in Denmark,” TI stated. “This measure, similar to those announced by Ukraine and the U.K., will make it harder for the corrupt to hide behind companies registered in another person’s name.”

New Zealand and Finland ranked second and third. Sweden and Norway ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

North Korea and Somalia continue to cling to the bottom rung of the index with a score of eight, which is also where they ranked in the 2012 and 2013 index. In these countries, the lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions underscore the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption.

View a full list of each country's rankings here.