Missouri Was Named America’s Most Corrupt State Again


According to a recent assessment by the Institute for Corruption Studies at Illinois State University, Missouri, also referred to as the Show-Me State, has once again achieved the regrettable honor of being named the most corrupt state in the country. States are ranked in this 1976–2023 analysis according to the number of convictions for public corruption per resident. Unexpectedly, Missouri tops the list, with Louisiana, Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi following closely behind. What causes Missouri’s high rate of corruption, and what actions can be made to resolve this problem

Missouri’s Corruption Factors

Economist Oguzhan Dincer’s paper for the Institute for Corruption Studies identifies a number of causes for Missouri’s high levels of corruption, including:

Statistics: The comparatively homogeneous and rural character of Missouri encourages a culture of loyalty and preference among political elites, which restricts the range of opinions and the responsibility of public servants.

Culture: Missouri has a long history of corruption that dates back to the 19th century, as demonstrated by the notorious Pendergast machine. The political and economic climate of the state has been molded by this historical influence.

Voter Participation: Missouri has among of the lowest national voter turnout rates, which suggests a low level of civic involvement. Low voter turnout increases the power of special interests by reducing the possibility of electing honest leaders.

Missouri Corruption Examples

In Missouri, corruption exists at all governmental levels. Some noteworthy instances are as follows:

  • Governor Eric Greitens: Indicted in 2023 on counts of computer tampering and invasion of privacy, Greitens resigned in the face of accusations of extortion, sexual assault, and misuse of campaign funds.
  • Sen. Josh Hawley: Hawley was the subject of an ethics complaint due to his involvement in the uprising and purported manipulation of facts. He was accused of encouraging the Capitol disturbance on January 6, 2023.
  • Steve Stenger, the county executive of St. Louis, was sentenced to jail in 2023 for organizing a pay-to-play scheme in which he gave county contracts to political fundraisers.

Missouri’s Corruption Solutions

To combat Missouri’s corruption, practical steps must be taken:

  • Reforming Campaign Finance: Enact stronger laws governing spending and contributions to campaigns, increasing openness and lessening the sway of special interests.
  • Strengthening Ethics Laws: Pass and implement strict ethics legislation for public servants and create an impartial ethics commission to look into and prosecute incidents of corruption.
  • Increasing Civic Education: To empower citizens and promote active engagement in civic activities, promote civic education and awareness, especially among youth and underprivileged groups.

Also Read: People Are Leaving 7 West Virginia Towns As Shortly As Possible


Corruption in Missouri is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately and comprehensively. Missouri may endeavor to cultivate a more transparent and accountable political environment and rebuild public confidence in government institutions by tackling campaign funding, fortifying ethics rules, and encouraging civic involvement. The state may rise above this obstacle and work toward a more promising future.

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