World Facts

The Most Dangerous Cities in the World

Los Cabos, Mexico is the world's most dangerous city with a murder rate of 111.33 per 100,000 inhabitants.

When planning your next trip, you may want to avoid some of the cities we’re about to mention. In 2017, they ranked among the world’s most dangerous places on the basis of murder cases per capita.

The World’s Most Dangerous Cities

Los Cabos, Mexico is the most dangerous city in the world with a murder rate of 111.33 per 100,000 people. This city's position on the list of the world's most dangerous cities is indicative of the increase in crime that Mexico has experienced over the last year. In 2017 and 2018, the resort town of Los Cabos has made headlines news for a string of alarming murders. The majority of the violence in Los Cabos has mostly been related to the drug trade, and tourists have not been the target. Nonetheless, the instances of violence are still drastic, and have earned the popular vacation destination a spot on the top of the list of the world's most dangerous cities.

Caracas, Venezuela, is the second most dangerous city in the world. With 111.19 murders per 100,000 people, it formerly claimed the top spot. In third place is Acapulco, Mexico, with 106.63 murders per 100,000 people. 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 (65.83), Baltimore, Maryland (55.48), New Orleans, Louisiana (40.10) and Detroit, Michigan (39.69). 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 (62.25), Durban (38.12), and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) (37.53). 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

RankCityCountryHomicide Rate (Per 100,000)
1Los CabosMexico111.33
2CaracasVenezuela111.19
3AcapulcoMexico106.63
4NatalBrazil102.56
5TijuanaMexico100.77
6La Paz Mexico84.79
7FortalezaBrazil83.48
8Ciudad VictoriaMexico83.32
9Ciudad GuyanaVenezuela80.28
10BelemBrazil71.38
11Vitoria da ConquistaBrazil70.26
12CuliacanMexico70.10
13St. LouisUnited States65.83
14Maceio Brazil63.94
15Cape Town South Africa62.25
16KingstonJamaica59.71
17San SalvadorEl Salvador 59.06
18Aracaju Brazil58.88
19Feira de Santana Brazil58.81
20Ciudad JurazMexico56.16
21BaltimoreUnited States55.48
22Recife Brazil54.96
23MaturinVenezuela54.43
24Guatemala CityGuatemala53.49
25Salvador Brazil51.58
26San Pedro SulaHonduras51.18
27Valencia Venezuela49.74
28Cali Colombia49.59
29ChihuahuaMexico49.48
30Joao Pessoa Brazil 49.17
31Obregon Mexico48.96
32San JuanPuerto Rico48.70
33BarquisimetoVenezuela48.23
34Manaus Brazil48.07
35Distrito CentralHonduras48.00
36TepicMexico47.09
37PalmiraColombia46.65
38Reynosa Mexico41.95
39Porto Alegre Brazil40.96
40MacapaBrazil40.24
41New OrleansUnited States40.10
42Detroit United States39.69
43Mazatlan Mexico39.32
44DurbanSouth Africa38.12
45Campos dos GoytacazesBrazil37.53
46Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa37.53
47Campina GrandeBrazil37.29
48TeresinaBrazil37.05
49VitoriaBrazil36.07
50Cucuta Colombia34.78

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