10 Countries With The Highest Murder Rates In The World

Published 2 years ago on June 19, 2018
By Hugo

While Mexico Citizens' Council for Public Saftey published a detailed report of the world's most deadly cities, the countries with the highest murder rates may surprise you.

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With gun violence endemic in many parts of the developing world, many countries that make our list also happen to be premier tourist attractions, with millions flocking to their shores each year. But there's an ugly, grittier side to these nations you probably haven't seen. Using the international homicide rate statistics, which bases each murder per 100,000 inhabitants per year, these statistics have granted us valuable insight into the world's most dangerous countries.

Here are the top 10 most deadly countries on Earth.

10. South Africa, 31

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Nicknamed “The Rainbow Nation”, South Africa's past has certainly been colorful, but not for the reasons you'd have hoped. With 54 million people residing in the country, tensions between white and blacks remain high, despite Nelson Mandella's post-apartheid legacy seemingly putting an end to years of prejudice.  There's also a lot of black-on-black crime, and the country itself has a very high rate of murders, assaults, rape, robberies, and other violent crimes.

According to local police records, around 50 people are murdered every day in South Africa.

9. Saint Kitts and Nevis, 33.6

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The Carribean island of Saint Kitts and Nevis is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, which may go along way in explaining its inclusion on our list. Home to only 50,000 people, it appears many on the island have no qualms about killing one another.

Indeed, with an average murder rate of 33.6 homicides per 100,000 people, Saint Kitts and Nevis will have to crack down harder on criminals if they wish to attract the same tourists the nearby islands of St Lucia and Cuba experience.

8. Swaziland, 33.8

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Bordering South Africa, it seems almost inevitable that the small nation of Swaziland, with a population of just over 1 million, would suffer similar problems.

But just like Saint Kitts and Nevis, it's small population hasn't led to cozy communities- far from it. Instead, Swaziland is a country riddled with poverty and diseases and has an estimated average life expectancy of just 50 years!

7. Lesotho, 38

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Another small African country located close to South Africa, Lesotho's homicide rate is alarmingly high. Its poverty rate may partly explain this. Over half the population finds themselves below the poverty line which has led to much criminality and an annual murder rate that won't be attracting tourists anytime soon. 

6. Jamaica, 39.3

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Unlike Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica has never struggled with tourists, but even Jamaica's chilled vibes have struggled to arrest the violence that persists in the capital, Kingston. Consisting of 11,000 square kilometers, Jamaica is one of the Carribean's most deadly islands.

5. Guatemala, 39.9

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One of the larger populations on our list with 16 million inhabitants, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America, and with an average of around 100 murders committed every month, Guatemala officially ranks as the 5th deadliest country.

However, in the 1990s, it was even worse. The city of Escuintla, for instance, had an annual rate of 165 murders per 100,000 people, much worse than the current, 39.9 per 100,000.

4. El Salvador, 41.2

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El Salvador is very much in its rebuilding phase after the devastating civil war (1979 – 1992), ravaged large areas of the country. A Central American country with a small population of around 6.3 million people, the country has long been terrorized by gang members and juvenile delinquency. 

In fact, most of the country's criminal activities are gang-related, with 60% of its murders spawned from gang warfare.

3. Belize, 44.7

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Another tiny nation, Belize is dominated by criminal activity, and at just 22,800 square kilometers and a population of about 340,000 people, space is hard to come by, which may explain why crime is high.

While the wildlife boasts a rich array of fauna, the more urbanized areas are where you'll find most of the country's murders. With 44.7 people per 100,000 people murdered,  Belize and its capital, Belize City, is not exactly a family-friendly country.

2. Venezuela, 53.7


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South America's vibrant, yet crumbling nation is now on the precipice of ruin after Hugo Chavez'dictatorshipip came to an abrupt end. Once a major oil exporter, Venezuela is now in economic ruin, and also has the second highest homicide rate in the world.

In a candid survey, only 19% of residents said they felt safe when walking alone at night which goes a long way to explaining their horrific murder figures. Just last year, more than 50 people out of 100,000 were killed in Venezuela, a number that has been increasing for some time now.

1.  Honduras, 90.4

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Honduras is the deadliest place on Earth according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Home to around 8.25 million people, Honduras's homicide rate is so high that roughly 90.4 murders per 100,000 people take place, meaning, almost every 1,000th person is killed.

As a popular holiday destination, tourists are advised to stay within specific parameters guarded by police as they are often targeted as easy victims by gangsters.

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