greying wanderer noted how botswana did well — very well — on the corruption perceptions index. the country scored like a middle-range western european country.

so, i looked up botswana on good ol’ wikipedia and the only thing potentially interesting (to me) that i could see is that, although there are several ethnic groups in the country, there is one that has a strong majority — the tswana.

hmmmm, i thought. maybe there’s a correlation between having a strong majority in a country and degree of (perceived) corruption in a country.

so, i looked up all the sub-saharan african countries included in transparency international’s 2011 survey to find out their demographics. except for zambia, all of the demographic data i used i got from wikipedia so … you know … the data are from wikipedia!

i found ethnic group size data for the following countries — the percentage represents the size of the largest ethnic group in the country:

Angola – 37.0%
Benin – 19.0%
Botswana – 79.0%
Burkina Faso – 40.0%
Cameroon – 19.0%
Cape Verde – 100.0%
Central African Republic – 33.0%
Congo Republic – 48.0%
Cote d’Ivoire – 42.1%
Djibouti – 60.0%
Eritrea – 55.0%
Ethiopia – 34.5%
Gabon – 33.0%
Gambia – 42.0%
Ghana – 49.3%
Guinea – 34.2%
Guinea-Bissau – 30.0%
Kenya – 22.0%
Lesotho – 99.7%
Liberia – 20.0%
Madagascar – 20.0%
Malawi – 25.0%
Mali – 36.5%
Mauritania – 40.0%
Mauritius – 68.0%
Mozambique – 18.0%
Namibia – 49.8%
Niger – 56.0%
Nigeria – 29.0%
Rwanda – 84.0%
Senegal – 43.0%
Seychelles – 70.0%
Sierra Leone – 35.0%
South Africa – 22.0%
Swaziland – 100.0%
Tanzania – 16.0%
Togo – 32.0%
Uganda – 16.9%
Zambia – 10.0%

edit – forgot these four:

Burundi - 85.0%
Equatorial Guinea – 80.0%
Somalia – 85.0%
Sudan – 73.0%

i couldn’t find any good numbers for the following countries, so they are not included:

Chad
Comoros
Dem Rep of the Congo
Sao Tome & Principe
Zimbabwe

and was there any correlation between the size of the biggest ethnic group in a country and corruption?

nope. i got a correlation of 0.29. no correlation. nada. zip. zilch.

unleeeesssss…

unless i take out the lowest scorers — the countries who got a 1 or 1.something on the corruption index. there were four of those: Burundi (1.9), Equatorial Guinea (1.9), Somalia (1.0) and Sudan (1.6).

then i get a correlation of 0.59, which is not all that weak for social data. it looks like this:

why are burundi, equatorial guinea, somalia and sudan so weird? — if they are weird.

well, the majority groups of equatorial guinea, somalia and sudan — the fang, ethnic somalis and the sudanese arabs respectively — are all groups based around patrlineal kinship groups — clans and tribes. and we know how divisive THOSE are. maybe it doesn’t matter that these countries have strong majority ethnic groups if those groups are divided into hostile clans and tribes. same difference, really — if you see what i mean. don’t know about the social structures of the hutu (the majority ethnic group) in burundi.

so, i either came up with a non-result, which is always interesting! or there is something in the ethnic/clan structure of these populations that possibly relates to corruption levels. unless i’m massaging the data. heh.

anyway. that’s how i spent my afternoon. (^_^)

previously: same old, same old

(note: comments do not require an email. correlation does not mean causation….)

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