Oregon Named America’s Most Corrupt City, Again

Oregon is renowned for its natural beauty, progressive politics, and innovative culture. However, beneath this exterior lies a less-discussed issue – corruption. According to a recent Best Life report, Oregon has once again claimed the unenviable title of the most corrupt state in the United States.

This ranking is based on four corruption dimensions: public corruption convictions, violations by medical providers, anti-corruption measures for public officials, and state integrity score. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind Oregon’s corruption, its consequences, and potential measures to combat this issue.

Why Is Oregon So Corrupt?

The Best Life report assigns Oregon a Corruption Index Score of 100 out of 100, the highest possible score, indicating the state’s poor performance in several key areas:

Public corruption convictions: Oregon boasts the highest rate in the nation, with 42 convictions per 10,000 residents. Notable corruption scandals involve figures like former Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancee Cylvia Hayes, who resigned in 2015 amid allegations of using their positions for personal gain.

Violations by medical providers: Oregon ranks second-highest in the nation, with 1,234 violations per 10,000 medical providers. Instances include the case of former doctor Richard Marsden, sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2020 for sexually abusing patients.

Anti-corruption measures for public officials: Scoring 25 out of 100 on the S.W.A.M.P. Index, Oregon has the lowest score in the nation. The state’s anti-corruption measures lack effectiveness, with vague, outdated, or unenforced laws and regulations.

State integrity score: With a score of 59 out of 100, Oregon ranks as the 44th lowest in the nation. This score, based on a Center for Public Integrity assessment, highlights deficiencies in transparency, accountability, and ethics within the state government.

What Are the Consequences of Corruption?

Corruption extends beyond being a moral and legal issue, impacting society and the economy:

Loss of trust and confidence: Corruption undermines public trust in the government, weakening the democratic system. It also hampers citizen participation, diminishing government accountability.

Waste of resources and opportunities: Corruption diverts public funds to private interests, hindering state development. This misallocation of resources leads to lower-quality public goods and services.

Injustice and inequality: Corruption perpetuates injustice, favoring the powerful over the weak. It creates disparities and violates the rule of law, denying citizens legal protection.

What Can Be Done to Fight Corruption?

While corruption is a complex issue, several strategies can be employed:

Reform and enforce laws and regulations: Strengthen and enforce laws governing public officials and healthcare professionals to ensure clarity and effectiveness. Enhance checks and balances to prevent, detect, and punish corruption.

Increase transparency and accountability: Improve transparency in government activities and decisions. Encourage citizen and journalist engagement in political and civic processes for effective monitoring.

Promote education and awareness: Educate the public about corruption’s causes, consequences, and solutions. Foster values and ethics among public officials and healthcare professionals to promote integrity.


Oregon, despite its strengths, grapples with a significant corruption challenge. Addressing this issue requires a concerted effort involving legal reforms, increased transparency, and public awareness. By understanding the causes and consequences of corruption, Oregonians can contribute to building a more transparent and accountable state. If you have any comments, questions, or feedback, feel free to share them with us. Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day!

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