Berlin: Corruption is on the rise; with one in four people worldwide saying they paid a bribe in the past year, according to a survey by anti-corruption group Transparency International (TI).
Releasing the findings in Berlin Thursday, the group said 60 percent of people it surveyed estimated the problem had become worse.
Of those who paid bribes, half said it was to "solve a problem" and a quarter said it was to speed up slow processes and decisions.
Bribe-takers included police, health officials and tax collectors, according to the survey.
TI said the data came from surveys of more than 91,000 people in 86 nations or other territories.
The worst place for bribery was sub-Saharan Africa, with more than half those surveyed saying they had paid bribes in the past 12 months.
Next in the ranking were the Middle East and North Africa, with more than one third having paid bribes. In Europe and North America the rate was just five percent.
TI released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index in October, ranking 178 nations.
"The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). These results indicate a serious corruption problem," the report said.