Crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population, and then the result is multiplied by 100,000
The crime rates in each country. While there is no exact reason why crimes are committed, there are several factors attributed to high crime rates. High crime rates are seen in countries or areas with high poverty levels and low job availability. Strict police enforcement and severe sentences tend to reduce crime rates. There is a strong correlation between age and crime, with most crimes, especially violent crimes, being committed by those ages 20-30 years old.
The 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 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 such as Austria do see more petty crimes such as purse snatching or pickpocketing.
Countries with the Highest Crime Rates
The countries with the ten highest crime rates in the world are:
- Venezuela (84.36)
- Papua New Guinea (80.04)
- South Africa (77.29)
- Afghanistan (76.97)
- Honduras (76.65)
- Trinidad and Tobago (72.43)
- Brazil (68.31)
- Guyana (68.15)
- El Salvador (67.84)
- Syria (67.42)
Venezuela has a crime index of 84.36, 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 corruption among Venezuelan authorities, a flawed judiciary system, and poor gun control. Because of the country's recent economic hardship, homicides, armed assaults, and kidnappings are decreasing.
2. Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has a crime index of 80.04. 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 a limited or informal education and 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, such as high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and social exclusion, and the normalization of violence, among other things. South Africa has the highest rape rate in the world of 132.4 incidents per 100,000 people, causing South Africa to be called the "rape capital of the world." More than 1 in 4 men surveyed by the South African Medical Research Council admitted to committing rape.
Afghanistan has the fourth-highest crime rate. Crime is present in various forms, including corruption, assassinations/contract killings, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and money laundering. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, opium poppy cultivation and drug trafficking increased, and Afghanistan is now the largest illicit opium producer. Since the downfall of the Taliban, crime rates have increased in Kabul, its capital city. Widespread unemployment also fuels much of the country's crimes, such as robbery and assault. The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Afghanistan, advising travelers not to go to the country due to civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, and terrorism.
With a crime index of 76.65, Honduras ranks fifth for crime. Honduras's peak of violent crime was in 2012, where the country experienced about 20 homicides per day. Perpetrators of these homicides were typically gang members such as Barrio 18 or Mara Salvatrucha and were carried out using firearms. 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 entering 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.
Brazil has the seventh-highest crime rate in the world with exceptionally high rates of violent crimes. Brazil's homicide rate is between 30 to 35 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, placing the country in the top 20 countries by intentional homicide rate. However, between 2017 and 2018, the homicide rate fell by 13% from over 59,000 homicides to 51,000. 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. Between 10 and 15 women are murdered every day in Brazil.
Guyana has the eighth-highest crime rate worldwide of 68.15. Guyana has 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 is common in all regions of Guyana, as the enforcement of domestic violence laws is weak. Armed robberies are common as well, especially in Georgetown. Additionally, tourists are often the victims of hotel break-ins, robberies, and assaults. Visitors to Guyana are advised to exercise increased caution due to crime.
9. El Salvador
Organized crime is the most 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. Gangs also have cultivated relationships with drug traffickers and have also resulted in disputing over territory with drug traffickers. Besides 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 crimes committed.
Finishing the top ten list of countries with the highest crime rates is Syria. Syria has a very high level of corruption and bribery and high levels of property crime and violent crime. Amid an ongoing civil war, the country also experiences widespread war crimes by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups.