TRACE Releases 2021 Bribery Risk Matrix

Share this post

ANNAPOLIS, MD, U.S.—17 November 2021—TRACE, a globally recognized business association dedicated to anti-bribery, good governance and compliance, has released the 2021 Bribery Risk Matrix, which measures business bribery risk in 194 economies. According to this year's data, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Eritrea, Venezuela and Somalia present the highest commercial bribery risk, while Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and New Zealand present the lowest.

Other notable findings:

  • Over the past 10 years, the business bribery risk environment worsened significantly in countries that also experienced democratic backsliding: Egypt, Venezuela, Turkey, Poland and Hungary.
  • Over the past five years, the business bribery risk environment in the United States worsened significantly when compared with global trends.
  • From 2020 to 2021, all of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries saw increases in commercial bribery risk.
  • Over the past five years, the countries that have shown the greatest trend toward improvement in the factors underlying commercial bribery risk are Uzbekistan, the Gambia, Armenia, Malaysia and Angola.

Originally published in 2014 to meet a need in the business community for more reliable information about bribery risk worldwide, the TRACE Matrix addresses the likelihood of encountering bribe demands when doing business in a given jurisdiction.

“Coming out of a record year for U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act fines and penalties, anti-bribery compliance is top of mind for multinational companies,” TRACE President Alexandra Wrage said. “We are pleased to bring another edition of the TRACE Matrix, which companies rely on to identify considerations for managing bribery risk in the markets where they operate.”

The TRACE Matrix helps companies examine the conditions that allow commercial bribery to flourish: (1) the nature and extent of government interaction with the private sector; (2) societal attitudes toward bribery and the government's ability to enforce anti-bribery laws; (3) governmental transparency; and (4) civil society’s ability to monitor and expose corruption.

The TRACE Matrix is publicly available at Access the Matrix Data Browser at

View a 90-second video about the TRACE Matrix.


TRACE is a non-profit international business association dedicated to anti-bribery, compliance and good governance. Founded in 2001 to make it easier and less expensive for companies to navigate and mitigate business bribery risk, TRACE is credited with establishing anti-bribery standards that have been adopted by hundreds of companies worldwide. Driven by the needs of its members, TRACE is continuously developing tools and resources that power compliance programs. TRACE is headquartered in the United States and registered in Canada, with a presence on four continents. For more information, visit

Media contact:
Gigi O’Connell
PR & Communications Associate, TRACE
[email protected]