Top 10 Countries With the Highest Homicide Rates in the World


Everyone wants to live in a safe neighborhood. However, in many parts of the world, this is a luxury that some only people have. A new report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) serves as a stark reminder of how murder rates vary dramatically from country to country. The 2013 Global Study on Homicide found that nearly half a million people were intentionally murdered in 2012, and the killings were largely concentrated in 2 regions, the Americas and Africa. UNODC defines homicide as “an unlawful death intentionally caused to a person by another person”, not directly related to an armed conflict. Data are collected from each law enforcement or health authority in the country, or where this is not available, from World Health Organization estimates. According to the study, nearly half of the 437,000 murders occurred in countries with only 11 percent of the population. global . In 2012, the Americas overtook Africa, as the region with the highest murder rate. Unfortunately, the concentration of deadly violence on specific parts of the globe is nothing new. Homicide rates in the Americas have remained high for decades, around 5 to 8 times higher than Europe and Asia since the 1950s, according to the report. And significantly, the UN notes that the Americas have a much lower murder conviction rate of 24 percent, compared to 48 percent in Asia and 81 percent in Europe.

10. COLOMBIA

As Colombia strives to end a 50-year internal conflict, the country’s homicide rate remains high at 30.8 per 100,000 in 2012. The highlight is women marching during a demonstration to demand peace and against discrimination in Bogota, Colombia in 2013.

9. SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but the murder rate has nearly halved in recent decades. In 2012, the country’s homicide rate was 31 murders per 100,000 people, compared with 64.5 per 100,000 in 1995.

8. SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Saint Kitts and Nevis have a high proportion of murders relative to their small population of 33.6 per 100,000 in 2012. The actual number of homicides recorded was only 18, not much, but in a population of less than 50,000, it is alarming.

7. SWAZILAND

Swaziland also has a high proportion of murders relative to its small population, 33.8 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012. Unfortunately, this ranks 7th in the world ranking of the most violent countries.

6. JAMAICA

Jamaica’s fight against drugs and organized crime has reduced the country’s homicide rate since 2009, but remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with 39.3 murders per 100,000 population in 2012.

5. GUATEMALA

Guatemala, with 39.9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, is still struggling to contain the violent legacy of a 36-year civil war. Indian women and men ixil, whose family members were killed in the country’s civil war, celebrate the judge’s guilty verdict to former dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala in 2013.

4. EL SALVADOR

El Salvador’s 2012 murder rate was 41.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, the fourth highest in the world. Masked gang members surrendered weapons during a symbolic act for peace at Gerardo Barrios Square in San Salvador, 2012.

3. BELIZE

The country’s crime had a homicide rate of 44.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012. The country’s soldiers are placed in parts of Belize City where gang violence is highest, a fact of 2011.

2. VENEZUELA

Venezuela’s rising homicide rate, which stood at 53.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, was a catalyst behind the wave of government protests that have rocked the country since early 2014.

1. HONDURAS

The leading position in this selection of the 10 countries with the highest homicide rates in the world is Honduras. The country’s homicide rate of 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants draws attention. The country’s gang violence and drug cartel penetration doubles its homicide rate making it the most dangerous country in the world.

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