Approximately 900 million - or over one in four - people across 16 countries are estimated to have paid a bribe to access public services.
A recent survey by Transparency International (TI), an anti-corruption global civil society organization, states that India has the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia Pacific countries surveyed.
First launched in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has been credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.
TI’s report says that nearly seven in 10 people had paid a bribe to access public services in India.
In India, 58% people agreed to pay bribes to access public schools and 59% to access healthcare.
Even China isn’t far behind India.
Nearly three quarters of the people surveyed in China say corruption has increased over the past three years.
In comparison to India, people in Pakistan and China who bribed to access public schools are 9% and 29% respectively.
In contrast to India and China, Japan has the lowest bribery rate with only 0.2% respondents paying a bribe.
Report says that bribery was far lower in Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea.
In these countries, fewer than 5 per cent of respondents said that they had paid a bribe when they accessed public services (from 0.2 per cent to 4 per cent).
The report titled "People and Corruption: Asia Pacific" surveyed nearly 22,000 people in 16 countries in Asia Pacific about their recent experiences with corruption.
Approximately 900 million - or over one in four - people across these countries are estimated to have paid a bribe to access public services.
TI also asked people in the surveyed countries to rate their government in terms of performance against fighting corruption.
More than half the people living in India feel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was doing enough in fighting corruption.
People in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia also feel the same way about their respective governments.
However, people in South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia do not think highly of their government in this regard.
People in Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia felt most empowered to fight against corruption.
The report says that over three quarters of people agreeing (from 78 per cent to 80 per cent).
Ilham Mohamed, South Asia Regional Coordinator at TI told Forbes: “People don’t pay bribes for quicker access to services. The problem is most don’t have access to basic services like healthcare, school or law and order. What the data across Asia Pacific shows is that the poor are disproportionately affected by petty bribery."
“In other words people with limited resources are further disempowered by an additional hurdle in accessing public services through having to pay bribes. This cycle continues when redress mechanisms are inaccessible,” she adds.
In 2016 survey, no country got close to a perfect score in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
Over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in 2016 index fell below the midpoint of our scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).