World Facts

The Most Dangerous Cities in the World

Caracas, Venezuela is the world's most dangerous city with a murder rate of 130.35 per 100,000 inhabitants.

When planning your next trip, you may want to avoid some of the cities we’re about to mention. In 2016, they ranked among the world’s most dangerous places on the basis of murder cases per capita.

The World’s Most Dangerous Cities

Caracas, Venezuela has held on to its spot as the world's most dangerous city with a murder rate of 130.35. This staggering number is followed by Acapulco, Mexico with 113.24 per 100,000 inhabitants and San Pedro Sula, Honduras with 112.09 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Violence brought on by drug trafficking and organized gangs have been blamed for the relentless violence in these cities, although the factors are generally quite complicated. Unfortunately, none of these cities are strangers to the top three positions, except for maybe the resort town of Acapulco, which violence from other regions of the country has been spilling into in recent years.

The Most Dangerous Cities in the United States

Four cities in the United States are counted the among the world's most dangerous. The cities are, in descending order of homicide rates, St. Louis, Missouri (60.37), Baltimore, Maryland (51.14), New Orleans, Louisiana (45.17) and Detroit, Michigan (44.6). In the United States, the relaxed laws surrounding gun ownership is often subject of much debate. In the United States, gun violence is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths nationwide annually.

One city that is a notable omission from the list is Chicago. Although the city of Chicago has had a reputation for crime in recent years, its homicide rate is 27.22 murders per 100,000 residents. It is important to note that although the city of Chicago experienced an overall decrease in violent crime in the early 2000s, as of the 2010s crime again seems to be on an incline. A full report of the most dangerous cities in the United States can be found here.

Latin American Cities

Of the entries on this list, many cities can be found in a region of the world known as Latin America. Latin America generally refers to countries in Central and South America, where the predominant language is Spanish (or in the case of Brazil, Portuguese). The factors for the dominance of these countries are varied and complicated. Violence related to drug trafficking and income inequality, corrupt politicians and officials, and residue from a history of brutal colonialism have all been indicated as factors that encourage violence.

South African Cities

Of this list provided of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world by violent crime rate, three cities in South Africa make the list: Cape Town (60.77), Nelson Mandela Bay (39.19), and Durban (34.43). South Africa, which inhabits the southernmost point of the massive African continent, has often garnered publicity for its high crime rates, including murder rates. Factors such as high employment and systemic racism have all been blamed for the violent trends in South African cities.

The 50 Most Dangerous Cities

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RankCityCountryHomicide Rate (Per 100,000)
1CaracasVenezuela130.35
2AcapulcoMexico113.24
3San Pedro SulaHonduras112.09
4Distrito CentralHonduras112.09
5VictoriaMexico84.67
6MaturinVenezuela82.84
7San SalvadorEl Salvador83.39
8Ciudad GuayanaVenezuela82.84
9ValenciaVenezuela72.02
10NatalBrazil69.56
11BelemBrazil67.41
12AracajuBrazil62.76
13Cape TownSouth Africa60.77
14St. LouisUnited States60.37
15Feira de SantanaBrazil60.10
16BarquisimetoVenezuela59.38
17CumanaVenezuela59.31
18Campos dos GoytacazesBrazil56.45
19SalvadorBrazil54.71
20CaliColombia54.00
21TijuanaMexico53.06
22GuatemalaGuatemala52.73
23CuliacanMexico51.81
24MaceioBrazil47.89
25BaltimoreUnited States51.14
26MazatlanMexico48.75
27RecifeBrazil47.89
28Joao PessoaBrazil 47.57
29BracelonaVenezuela46.86
30PalmiraColombia46.30
31KingstonJamaica45.43
32Sao LuisBrazil45.41
33New OrleansUnited States45.17
34FortalezaBrazil44.98
35Detroit United States44.60
36JuarezMexico43.63
37TerresinaBrazil42.84
38CuiabaBrazil42.61
39ChihuahuaBrazil42.61
40ObregonMexico42.02
41Aparecida de GoianiaBrazil39.48
42Nelson Mandela BaySouth Africa39.19
43ArmeniaColombia38.54
44MacapaBrazil38.45
45ManausBrazil38.25
46VitoriaBrazil37.54
47CucutaColombia37.00
48CuritibaBrazil34.92
49DurbanSouth Africa34.43

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