Berlin, Dec 7: Pakistan has been ranked seventh in the list of most corrupt countries in the world by the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International.
According to the 2007 Global Corruption Barometer, the countries with the highest level of bribery are -- Albania, Cambodia, Cameroon, Macedonia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania and Senegal.
Some of the world's poorest people in Africa and Asia are hardest hit by public corruption, says the survey, adding that they are forced to pay bribes for police protection, education and justice.
"Poor families are hit hardest by demands for bribes," The Nation quoted Transparency International, as saying in a summary of its report.
"This year's Global Corruption Barometer has made it clear that too often, people must part with their hard-earned money to pay for services that should be free," said the organization chairman, Huguette Labelle, in a statement.
As a region, Africa suffered public corruption the most.
In the African countries surveyed, 42 per cent of the people reported that they had been asked to pay a bribe to obtain a service during the past 12 months.
The Asia-Pacific region was next with 22 per cent; Moldova and Ukraine with 21 per cent; Latin America with 13 per cent; southeastern Europe with 12 per cent; the European Union with five per cent; and North America with two per cent.
The survey was compiled by Gallup, the polling agency.
With 21-33 per cent bribery percentage (the percentage of respondents reporting they paid a bribe to obtain a service), India is in the same bracket as Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Greece, Indonesia, Lithuania, Moldova, Peru, Serbia and Ukraine.
In a survey of over 63,199 people in 60 countries, a majority believed that corruption is on the rise.
Around 54 per cent said they expect the level of corruption to increase in the next three years, 26 per cent said it would stay the same, while 20 per cent said it would decrease.
Nearly 70 per cent said political parties were the most corrupt institutions, followed by about 55 per cent who said parliament or the country's legislature was the most corrupt, narrowly trailed by just over 50 per cent citing police departments.
The figures total more than 100 per cent because people gave multiple answers to the institutions where they paid bribes.
Cameroon fared the worst, with 79 per cent of respondents saying they had paid a bribe to obtain services. They were followed by 72 per cent of Cambodians, 71 per cent of Albanians, 67 per cent from Kosovo; both Macedonia and Pakistan registered 44 percent.
Canada, Japan, South Korea, Austria, France, Iceland, Sweden and Switzerland fared the best overall, with only one per cent of respondents saying they had paid a bribe.
The United States, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Britain did only slightly worse with two percent.
The study found that police departments were the most corrupt, with one in four respondents. who had been in contact with police, saying that they had been asked to pay a bribe - and one in six ended paying up.