Crime Rate by Country 2021

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Overall crime rate is calculated by dividing the total number of reported crimes of any kind by the total population, then multiplying the result by 100,000 (because crime rate is typically reported as X number of crimes per 100,000 people).

Crime rates vary greatly from country to country and are influenced by many factors. For example, high poverty levels and unemployment tend to inflate a country's crime rate. Conversely, strict police enforcement and severe sentences tend to reduce crime rates. There is also a strong correlation between age and crime, with most crimes, especially violent crimes, being committed by those ages 20-30 years old.

The overall crime rate in the United States is 47.70. The violent crime rate in the United States has decreased sharply over the past 25 years. Crimes rates vary significantly between the states, with states with such as Alaska, New Mexico, and Tennessee experiencing much higher crime rates than states such as Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Some of the world's lowest crime rates are seen in Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, and New Zealand. Each of these countries has very effective law enforcement, and Denmark, Norway, and Japan have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.

Countries with the Highest Crime Rates*

The countries with the ten highest crime rates in the world are:

  1. Venezuela (83.76)
  2. Papua New Guinea (80.79)
  3. South Africa (76.86)
  4. Afghanistan (76.31)
  5. Honduras (74.54)
  6. Trinidad and Tobago (71.63)
  7. Guyana (68.74)
  8. El Salvador (67.79)
  9. Brazil (67.49)
  10. Jamaica (67.42)

*All numerical rates are expressed per 100,000 people

For the full ranking of 137 countries, scroll past the expanded top 10.

1. Venezuela

Venezuela has a crime index of 83.76, the highest of any country in the world. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Venezuela, indicating that it is unsafe to travel to the country, and travelers should not travel there. Venezuela's high crime rates have been attributed to reasons including corrupt authorities, a flawed judiciary system, and poor gun control.

2. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has a crime index of 80.79. In Papua New Guinea, crime, especially violent crime, is primarily fueled by rapid social, economic, and political changes. Raskol gangs engage in small and large-scale criminal activity and consist mainly of members with little education and few employment opportunities. Organized crime in the form of corruption is also common in major cities and largely contributes to the high crime rate. Additionally, the geography of Papua New Guinea makes it appealing for drug and human trafficking.

3. South Africa

South Africa has the third-highest crime rate in the world. South Africa has a notably high rate of assaults, rape, homicides, and other violent crimes. This has been attributed to several factors, including high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and social exclusion, and the normalization of violence. South Africa has one of the highest rape rates in the world. More than 1 in 4 men surveyed by the South African Medical Research Council admitted to committing rape.

4. Afghanistan

Afghanistan has the fourth-highest crime rate. Crime is present in various forms, including corruption, assassinations/contract killings, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and money laundering. Afghanistan supplied 85% of the world's illicit opium in 2020. The Taliban, which regained control of the country in 2021, has pledged to stamp out the opium industry, but it is such a vital part of the country's struggling economy that it will be difficult to eliminate. Widespread unemployment adds additional fuel for many of the country's crimes, such as robbery and assault.

5. Honduras

With a crime index of 74.54, Honduras ranks fifth in the world in terms of crime rate. Honduras's peak of violent crime was in 2012, where the country experienced about 20 homicides per day, typically carried out by gun-toting gangs such as Barrio 18 or Mara Salvatrucha. Honduras is also considered to be a major drug route to the United States. Weak domestic law enforcement has made the country an easy point of entry for the illegal drug trade. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Honduras, indicating that travelers should reconsider visiting the country.

6. Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has the sixth-highest crime rate in the world. Trinidad and Tobago's government faces several challenges in its effect to reduce crime, such as bureaucratic resistance to change, the negative influence of gangs, drugs, economic recession, and an overburdened legal system. There is a great demand for illegal weapons as well, which drug trafficking and gang-related activities fuel. Trinidad and Tobago has a Level 2 travel advisory, meaning that travelers should exercise increased caution. Visitors are typically victims of pickpocketing, assault, theft, and fraud.

7. Guyana

Guyana has the eighth-highest crime rate worldwide of 68.74, and a murder rate of about four times higher than that of the United States. Despite a rigorous licensing requirement to own firearms, the use of weapons by criminals is common. Domestic violence happens regularly in Guyana, as the enforcement of domestic violence laws is weak. Armed robberies occur frequently as well, especially in Georgetown. Additionally, tourists are often the victims of hotel break-ins, robberies, and assaults.

8. El Salvador

Organized crime is a massive problem in El Salvador, contributing to most social violence, with its two largest gangs, MS-13 and Barrio 18. There are an estimated 25,000 gang members at large in El Salvador, 9,000 in prison, and about 60,000 young people in youth gangs, which dominate the country. Many gangs have also cultivated relationships, and in some cases territorial disputes, with drug traffickers. In addition to gangs, high unemployment rates and low wages in El Salvador have pushed families into marginalized areas where crimes are common. Property crimes, such as robbery, theft, and theft of vehicles, are the most common.

9. Brazil

Brazil has the seventh-highest crime rate in the world with exceptionally high rates of violent crimes. Brazil's homicide rate was 23.6 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020—and it has been as high as 30.8 in previous years. Brazil's most massive problem is organized crime, as organized crime has expanded in recent years, and violence between rival groups is a common occurrence. Drug trafficking, corruption, and domestic violence are all pervasive issues in Brazil.

10. Jamaica

Finishing the top ten list of countries with the highest crime rates is Jamaica, which is plagued by government corruption, gang activity, and high levels of violent crime, including sexual assault. The U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council describes the Jamaican police force as understaffed and possessed of limited resources. Travelers are advised to especially avoid Spanish Town and parts of Kingston and Montego Bay.

Crime Rate by Country 2021

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Crime Rate by Country 2021

Ranking Country Crime Index 2021 Population
1Venezuela83.7628,704,954
2Papua New Guinea80.799,119,010
3South Africa76.8660,041,994
4Afghanistan76.3139,835,428
5Honduras74.5410,062,991
6Trinidad And Tobago71.631,403,375
7Guyana68.74790,326
8El Salvador67.796,518,499
9Brazil67.49213,993,437
10Jamaica67.422,973,463
11Syria67.1818,275,702
12Peru66.7233,359,418
13Angola66.4833,933,610
14Cameroon65.2427,224,265
15Namibia65.212,587,344
16Nigeria64.06211,400,708
17Bangladesh63.9166,303,498
18Argentina63.8245,605,826
19Puerto Rico62.842,828,255
20Bahamas62.06396,913
21Libya61.786,958,532
22Dominican Republic61.0210,953,703
23Kenya60.1454,985,698
24Belarus59.589,442,862
25Zimbabwe59.315,092,171
26Guatemala58.6718,249,860
27Bolivia57.7711,832,940
28Fiji57.62902,906
29Malaysia57.2932,776,194
30Kyrgyzstan56.876,628,356
31Colombia56.8751,265,844
32Uganda56.1247,123,531
33Somalia56.0416,359,504
34Mongolia56.013,329,289
35Tanzania5661,498,437
36Maldives55.34543,617
37Ecuador55.2317,888,475
38Costa Rica54.225,139,052
39Mexico54.19130,262,216
40Kazakhstan53.7718,994,962
41Chile53.4219,212,361
42Botswana52.982,397,241
43Algeria52.0344,616,624
44France51.9965,426,179
45Uruguay51.733,485,151
46Cambodia51.1316,946,438
47Belize50.39404,914
48Iran49.3885,028,759
49Paraguay49.377,219,638
50Ethiopia49.3117,876,227
51Mauritius48.881,273,433
52Morocco48.6637,344,795
53Iraq48.4241,179,350
54Sweden4810,160,169
55Nicaragua47.896,702,385
56United States47.81332,915,073
57Ukraine47.4243,466,819
58Ghana46.9831,732,129
59Egypt46.83104,258,327
60Lebanon46.776,769,146
61Myanmar46.5154,806,012
62Moldova46.354,024,019
63Vietnam46.1998,168,833
64United Kingdom46.0768,207,116
65Indonesia45.93276,361,783
66Greece45.8510,370,744
67Ireland45.514,982,907
68Panama45.154,381,579
69Italy44.8560,367,477
70Belgium44.5811,632,326
71India44.431,393,409,038
72Palestine43.745,222,748
73Tunisia43.6911,935,766
74Zambia43.6218,920,651
75Australia43.0325,788,215
76Bosnia And Herzegovina42.993,263,466
77New Zealand42.884,860,643
78Albania42.532,872,933
79Pakistan42.51225,199,937
80Philippines42.46111,046,913
81Sudan42.3444,909,353
82Canada41.8938,067,903
83Sri Lanka41.3921,497,310
84Montenegro41.18628,053
85Malta40.39442,784
86Russia39.99145,912,025
87Jordan39.9610,269,021
88Turkey39.6285,042,738
89Thailand39.3569,950,850
90North Macedonia39.122,082,658
91Latvia38.771,866,942
92Bulgaria38.216,896,663
93Serbia38.18,697,550
95Nepal36.0129,674,920
96Germany35.7983,900,473
97Hungary34.369,634,164
98Luxembourg34.13634,814
99Norway33.725,465,630
102Lithuania33.422,689,862
100Kuwait33.424,328,550
101Uzbekistan33.4233,935,763
103Spain33.3246,745,216
104Azerbaijan32.0210,223,342
105Israel31.478,789,774
106Cyprus31.281,215,584
107Poland30.537,797,005
108Slovakia30.375,460,721
109China30.141,444,216,107
110Portugal29.9110,167,925
111Brunei29441,532
112Cuba28.3311,317,505
113Romania28.319,127,774
114Singapore27.965,896,686
115Finland27.595,548,360
116Netherlands27.1617,173,099
117South Korea26.6851,305,186
118Denmark26.225,813,298
119Bahrain25.641,748,296
120Austria25.549,043,070
121Czech Republic25.5210,724,555
122Saudi Arabia25.2335,340,683
123Rwanda24.8913,276,513
124Croatia24.594,081,651
125Iceland23.75343,353
126Estonia23.711,325,185
127Georgia23.383,979,765
128Armenia22.792,968,127
129Slovenia22.282,078,724
130Japan22.19126,050,804
131Hong Kong227,552,810
132Switzerland21.628,715,494
133Oman20.345,223,375
134Isle of Man19.2585,410
135Taiwan15.4623,855,010
136United Arab Emirates15.239,991,089
137Qatar12.132,930,528

Crime Rate by Country 2021