Stabbing Deaths by Country 2022

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According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime's 2019 Global Study on Homicide, knives were the weapon of choice in 97,183 homicides in 2017, a full 22% of the world's total. Knife attacks and stabbing deaths occur all over the globe, from those with high rates of violent crime to the safest countries in the world. That said, the frequency of knife-related violence (which includes not only knives but also other "sharp objects" such as scissors or axes) varies greatly from one region to the next.

In North America, firearm deaths were responsible for roughly 76% of all homicides, with knife-related homicides accounting for less than 20%. However, the numbers are reversed in Europe, where guns account for barely 20% of homicides but knives are used nearly 40% of the time. In fact, the United Nations identified sixteen countries in which knives and sharp instruments were used in more than half of the country's homicides.

Top 16 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Knife-Related Homicides 2013-2016 (approximate percentages):

  1. Cuba ≅ 76%
  2. Azerbaijan ≅ 75.5%
  3. Bhutan ≅ 73%
  4. Tanzania ≅ 72%
  5. Algeria ≅ 68%
  6. Grenada ≅ 67%
  7. Qatar ≅ 66%
  8. Morocco ≅ 64%
  9. Slovenia ≅ 61%
  10. Bahrain ≅ 59%
  11. Singapore ≅ 59%
  12. Poland ≅ 57%
  13. Kazakhstan ≅ 57%
  14. Sri Lanka ≅ 52.5%
  15. Guyana ≅ 52%
  16. Hungary ≅ 51%

Note that these data indicate the percentage of homicides that are committed using knives and sharp objects, but are not indicative of the homicide rate or the total number of homicides in a given country. For example, among these countries, the highest homicide rates belong to Guyana, Tanzania, and Grenada, while the lowest rates belong to Qatar, Slovenia, Bahrain, Singapore, and Poland.

Trends in knife-related violence and stabbing deaths

Knife-related violence has been on the rise worldwide since 2014. One of the main factors cited in this growth is the fact that knives are simply more widely available, being both cheaper and much easier to obtain than firearms.

The United Nations' 2017 report also noted that as a rule, countries that had higher homicide rates were usually those in which firearms were more prevalent. By comparison, in countries with lower homicide rates, sharp objects/knives and "other mechanisms" tended to be the predominant methods. The countries with higher rates of stabbing deaths consistently have tighter gun control laws, which forces would-be attackers to resort to knives instead of guns. As a result of this dynamic, countries that have a high number of stabbing deaths tend to have very low gun violence compared to other nations and appear near the bottom of any list of mass shootings per country.

Detailed data on the total number of stabbing deaths per country is difficult to obtain. However, the Global Health Data Exchange maintains a detailed database that includes estimates of death due to "Physical violence by sharp object" that can serve as a general guideline. The full table is displayed further down the page, but the top ten countries rank as follows:

Top 10 Countries with the Most Stabbing Deaths - GHDE 2019 estimates

  1. Brazil - 9,885
  2. South Africa - 9,424
  3. India - 8,931
  4. Russia - 6,336
  5. Philippines - 5,491
  6. Nigeria - 5,099
  7. Mexico - 4,699
  8. China - 4,590
  9. Pakistan - 3,388
  10. Colombia - 3,131

Knife Violence in Europe

Stabbing deaths and injuries are more common in Europe than in the Americas. Particularly in northern Europe, where levels of knife crimes among young people have increased and made headlines. Deaths by sharp objects are especially noticeable in the 15-19 and 20-24 age groups in Northern and Western European countries. The proportion of knife deaths is about three times greater than firearm deaths in these countries for the 20-24 age group. Between 2002 and 2007, hospital admissions for assault by a knife or sharp object increased by 34%. One high-profile example of homicide by knife in Europe occurred in 2013, when a 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death in the United Kingdom. Her death sparked anti-knife campaigns throughout the U.K.

Knife Violence in Asia

In China, which has strict gun regulations—in fact, it's one of a few countries in which firearms are illegal to own privately in most cases—knife attacks are not uncommon. The number of attacks per year is not clear but attacks are regularly reported in the media, showing that efforts to regulate the purchase of knives or punish the attackers have been unsuccessful in deterring the violence. One of the more notorious knife attacks in Asia occurred in 2014, when a group of eight men and women wielding long-bladed knives attacked patrons at a Kunming train station, injuring more than 140 people and resulting in 29 civilian deaths.

Knife violence in Asia is not exclusive to China. In Japan's 2016 Sagamihara stabbings, a knife-wielding former employee killed 19 people and injured 26 more at a care home for the disabled. Later, in 2019, the Kawasaki stabbings resulted in the deaths of three people (including the stabber) and the injury of 18 more. Knife attacks in South Korea include the Nonhyeon-dong massacre, a 2008 event in which an attacker used a sashimi knife to kill six people and injure seven more.

Stabbing Deaths by Country 2022

Country 2022 Population
China1,448,471,400
India1,406,631,776
United States334,805,269
Indonesia279,134,505
Pakistan229,488,994
Nigeria216,746,934
Brazil215,353,593
Bangladesh167,885,689
Russia145,805,947
Mexico131,562,772
Japan125,584,838
Ethiopia120,812,698
Philippines112,508,994
Egypt106,156,692
Vietnam98,953,541
DR Congo95,240,792
Iran86,022,837
Turkey85,561,976
Germany83,883,596
Thailand70,078,203
United Kingdom68,497,907
France65,584,518
Tanzania63,298,550
South Africa60,756,135
Italy60,262,770
Kenya56,215,221
Myanmar55,227,143
Colombia51,512,762
South Korea51,329,899
Uganda48,432,863
Spain46,719,142
Argentina46,010,234
Sudan45,992,020
Algeria45,350,148
Ukraine43,192,122
Iraq42,164,965
Afghanistan40,754,388
Canada38,388,419
Morocco37,772,756
Poland37,739,785
Saudi Arabia35,844,909
Angola35,027,343
Uzbekistan34,382,084
Peru33,684,208
Malaysia33,181,072
Mozambique33,089,461
Ghana32,395,450
Yemen31,154,867
Nepal30,225,582
Venezuela29,266,991
Madagascar29,178,077
Cameroon27,911,548
Ivory Coast27,742,298
Niger26,083,660
Australia26,068,792
North Korea25,990,679
Taiwan23,888,595
Burkina Faso22,102,838
Sri Lanka21,575,842
Mali21,473,764
Malawi20,180,839
Zambia19,470,234
Syria19,364,809
Chile19,250,195
Kazakhstan19,205,043
Romania19,031,335
Guatemala18,584,039
Ecuador18,113,361
Senegal17,653,671
Chad17,413,580
Netherlands17,211,447
Cambodia17,168,639
Somalia16,841,795
Zimbabwe15,331,428
Guinea13,865,691
Rwanda13,600,464
Benin12,784,726
Burundi12,624,840
Tunisia12,046,656
Bolivia11,992,656
Haiti11,680,283
Belgium11,668,278
South Sudan11,618,511
Cuba11,305,652
Dominican Republic11,056,370
Czech Republic10,736,784
Greece10,316,637
Jordan10,300,869
Azerbaijan10,300,205
Honduras10,221,247
Sweden10,218,971
Portugal10,140,570
United Arab Emirates10,081,785
Tajikistan9,957,464
Hungary9,606,259
Belarus9,432,800
Papua New Guinea9,292,169
Austria9,066,710
Israel8,922,892
Switzerland8,773,637
Togo8,680,837
Serbia8,653,016
Sierra Leone8,306,436
Hong Kong7,604,299
Laos7,481,023
Paraguay7,305,843
Libya7,040,745
Bulgaria6,844,597
Nicaragua6,779,100
Kyrgyzstan6,728,271
Lebanon6,684,849
El Salvador6,550,389
Turkmenistan6,201,943
Singapore5,943,546
Denmark5,834,950
Republic of the Congo5,797,805
Finland5,554,960
Norway5,511,370
Slovakia5,460,193
Palestine5,345,541
Oman5,323,993
Liberia5,305,117
Costa Rica5,182,354
Ireland5,020,199
Central African Republic5,016,678
Mauritania4,901,981
New Zealand4,898,203
Panama4,446,964
Kuwait4,380,326
Croatia4,059,286
Moldova4,013,171
Georgia3,968,738
Eritrea3,662,244
Uruguay3,496,016
Mongolia3,378,078
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,249,317
Jamaica2,985,094
Qatar2,979,915
Armenia2,971,966
Albania2,866,374
Puerto Rico2,829,812
Lithuania2,661,708
Namibia2,633,874
Gambia2,558,482
Botswana2,441,162
Gabon2,331,533
Lesotho2,175,699
North Macedonia2,081,304
Slovenia2,078,034
Guinea Bissau2,063,367
Latvia1,848,837
Bahrain1,783,983
Equatorial Guinea1,496,662
Trinidad And Tobago1,406,585
Timor Leste1,369,429
Estonia1,321,910
Mauritius1,274,727
Cyprus1,223,387
Eswatini1,184,817
Djibouti1,016,097
Fiji909,466
Reunion908,061
Comoros907,419
Guyana794,045
Bhutan787,941
Solomon Islands721,159
Macau667,490
Luxembourg642,371
Montenegro627,950
Western Sahara626,161
Suriname596,831
Cape Verde567,678
Maldives540,985
Brunei445,431
Malta444,033
Belize412,190
Bahamas400,516
Guadeloupe399,794
Martinique374,087
Iceland345,393
Vanuatu321,832
French Guiana314,169
New Caledonia290,915
Barbados288,023
Mayotte286,259
French Polynesia284,164
Sao Tome And Principe227,679
Samoa202,239
Saint Lucia185,113
Guam171,519
Curacao165,529
Kiribati123,419
Micronesia117,489
Grenada113,475
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines111,551
Tonga107,749
Aruba107,609
United States Virgin Islands103,971
Antigua And Barbuda99,509
Seychelles99,426
Isle of Man85,732
Andorra77,463
Dominica72,344
Cayman Islands67,277
Bermuda61,939
Marshall Islands60,057
Northern Mariana Islands58,269
Greenland56,973
American Samoa55,030
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,871
Faroe Islands49,233
Sint Maarten43,966
Monaco39,783
Turks And Caicos Islands39,741
Saint Martin39,730
Liechtenstein38,387
San Marino34,085
Gibraltar33,704
British Virgin Islands30,596
Palau18,233
Cook Islands17,571
Anguilla15,230
Tuvalu12,066
Wallis And Futuna10,982
Nauru10,903
Saint Barthelemy9,945
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,759
Montserrat4,965
Falkland Islands3,539
Niue1,622
Tokelau1,378
Vatican City799

Stabbing Deaths by Country 2022

Sources