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Homicide Rate (UNODC)

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Violent Crime Rates by Country 2024

Violent crime is a crime in which an offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use harmful force upon a victim. Although the exact list varies from country to country, violent crimes can include murder, assault, battery, sexual assault, rape, kidnapping, homicide, manslaughter, robbery, and other crimes associated with the use of force (arson, harassment, negligence). Violent crime encompasses not only crimes in which the violent act is the main objective, such as in cases of murder or rape, but also crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery or extortion.

Violent crime rates vary greatly between countries. Although there is rarely a clear reason why crimes are committed, there are numerous factors that are known to affect crime rates. Countries with high crime rates typically have high poverty levels and low job availability, conditions likely to force people into riskier, more desperate, and morally questionable solutions (which are often further enabled by underdeveloped law enforcement agencies). Crime rates tend to be lower in countries with favorable living conditions (wealthy), straight police enforcement, and tough sentences for crimes. There is also a strong correlation between age and crime. Most crimes, especially violent crimes, are committed by those aged 20-30.

Rates of violent crime

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's 2019 Global Study on Homicide, 464,000 people died from violent crimes in 2017. The report states that countries with high firearm rates have higher intentional homicide rates.

Some of the lowest violent crime rates can be seen in Europe. Many European countries have violent crime rates of less than 1 incident per 100,000 people. These countries have stricter gun laws and less gun ownership, as well as effective law enforcement.

The problem with global violent crime statistics

Comparing violent crime statistics between two different countries, states, or regions can be a challenging process. The main issue is that "violent crime" is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of offenses—and every country (or state or region) has its own list of which crimes are included, its own definition of each crime, and its own methods of reporting and recording those crimes.

For example, some countries may consider arson a violent crime, while others may not. Some countries may make it very easy for a victim to report a violent crime, whereas others may not (rape in particular tends to go unreported in some societies). One country may define a crime one way while another country defines it much differently, turning what initially appeared to be an apples-to-apples comparison into an apples-to-pretzels mismatch. Finally, one country may have comprehensive procedures for tracking crime statistics and releasing annual updates, and another may have a much less robust system.

Because of variations such as these, all-encompassing global tallies of violent crime as a whole are rarely helpful, or even available. However, when the numbers are decompiled into individual violent crimes–such as the [murder rate by country]–the datas get a bit more reliable and useful (though still not perfect).

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Homicide Rates*

* Incidents per 100,000 people - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2018

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Incidence of Rape**

** Per 100,000 people. Listed rates include only those offenses that are reported to the police.

  1. Botswana - 92.93
  2. Australia - 91.92
  3. Lesotho - 82.68
  4. South Africa - 72.10
  5. Bermuda - 67.29
  6. Sweden - 63.54
  7. Suriname - 45.21
  8. Costa Rica - 36.70
  9. Nicaragua - 31.60
  10. Grenada - 30.63

Rape statistics by country perfectly illustrate the challenges that make country-to-country data difficult to compare. Rape stats are confounded by several factors. To begin with, an overwhelming majority of rapes go unreported–up to 90% by some estimates–particularly in countries in which rape victims may be ostracized or even slain by their own families in an honor killing.

What's more, different countries have vastly different definitions of rape, some of which are much narrower than others. For example, some countries consider spousal rape to be a non-crime, or count every occurrence of rape between the same two people (say, an uncle and niece) as a single offense. In these countries, fewer acts qualify as rape, and even those that do are likely to go unreported.

Sweden, on the other hand, has a very broad definition of rape and excellent support for the victims. This means more crimes qualify as rape and the victims of those acts are more likely to report the crime. As a result, Sweden's rape rate seems to be quite high. However, this is a misleading assumption. In fact, Sweden would land near the middle of the pack in Europe if one were to apply Sweden's forward-thinking definition of rape to every other country as well. On the other hand, the frequency of rape in most other top-10 countries (except Australia, whose definition is already quite broad) would likely be much higher if they adopted Sweden's definitions and reporting/support systems.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Robbery Rate***

*** *Incidents per 100,000 people - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2018*

Country
Robbery
Costa Rica1587.51
Argentina922.59
Uruguay866.76
Brazil695.76
Chile639.03
Nicaragua488.13
Ecuador419.74
Cape Verde408.63
South Africa331.69
Mexico257.69
All data sourced from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and expressed as occurrences per 100,000 people.

Download Table Data

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Country
Homicide Rate (UNODC)
Year
Serious Assault
Year
Sexual Violence
Year
Kidnapping
Year
Robbery
Year
El Salvador52.02201858.62201768.5020170.23201759.442017
United States Virgin Islands49.282012
Jamaica43.85201899.46201854.7020170.38201843.382017
Lesotho43.562015368.4220093.122009
Honduras38.93201824.21201815.5020170.412018127.272018
Belize37.792017278.09201741.0020171.33201768.662017
Venezuela36.6920186.5120180.692018
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines36.542016750.00201698.7020168.22201672.172016
South Africa36.402018293.55201787.9020179.572017331.692017
Saint Kitts and Nevis36.092012277.092011129.4020116.072011133.492011
Nigeria34.5220169.6020131.0020130.3320131.112013
Bahamas31.9620171046.33201884.1020172.332018165.032017
Trinidad and Tobago30.65201543.79201550.7020150.292015180.182015
Mexico29.07201837.08201830.7020171.452018257.692018
Anguilla28.342014
Saint Martin27.732016
Brazil27.382018274.32201828.0020130.322018695.762018
Dominica26.592017103.312018135.7020171.40201896.332018
Colombia25.342018346.11201848.7020170.562018244.392017
Guatemala22.50201811.15201662.6020162.47201525.042012
Saint Lucia21.442018
Puerto Rico21.092018108.50201837.7020170.95201774.522018
Montserrat20.282012
Central African Republic20.122016
Curacao19.042007
Tuvalu18.622012
Namibia17.682012
Saint Pierre and Miquelon15.772009
Botswana15.252010806.612014131.7020140.10201481.302014
South Sudan14.872012
Guyana14.25201867.27201831.7020172018140.442018
French Guiana13.182009
Seychelles12.542016
Uruguay12.06201815.22201861.8020170.702018866.762018
Eswatini11.5620171421.3420049.352004
Costa Rica11.262018155.462017191.2020170.2020171587.512017
Palau11.172018
Antigua and Barbuda11.0620128.31201887.0020182.08201891.402018
Grenada10.822017338.222017179.502017201751.412017
Uganda10.52201813.92201749.3020162.37201616.642017
Iraq10.07201383.2320143.722014
Dominican Republic10.05201830.22201662.6020160.20201667.172016
Barbados9.772018502.05201760.1020173.49201783.502017
Papua New Guinea9.752010
Panama9.392018102.092018114.1020170.432018242.822017
Ethiopia8.792012
British Virgin Islands8.332006
Cayman Islands8.222014
Russia8.21201815.15201811.6020170.2220185.132018
Bermuda8.14201758.692017145.9020171.57201579.312017
Peru7.912017145.26201831.1020170.382018222.872017
Kiribati7.522012
Zimbabwe7.482012413.9620081.792008
Nicaragua7.192016314.99201062.3020100.122010488.132010
Paraguay7.1420188.34201865.0020170.07201876.782018
Cape Verde6.802018554.47201839.8020182.582018408.632018
Yemen6.7720130.1120090.3020090.182009
Haiti6.68201811.4920180.4120181.622018
Afghanistan6.662018
Tanzania6.4820164.5920150.102015201518.242015
Philippines6.4620181.8020120.03201215.282017
Bolivia6.22201670.81201836.3020170.742018132.252018
Ukraine6.1820173.6320171.9020171.25201747.512017
Mongolia6.18201810.28201812.1020170.19201839.602017
Burundi6.0520165.58201412.9020140.80201445.662014
Mayotte5.932009
Ecuador5.80201837.61201880.5020174.412018419.742018
Guadeloupe5.752016
Suriname5.43201763.102017
American Samoa5.382016
Zambia5.372015
Argentina5.322018306.53201832.502017922.592017
Greenland5.322016
Sudan5.152008
Kazakhstan5.06201711.34201811.7020170.41201752.372017
Cuba5.052016
United States4.962018246.84201886.242018
Kenya4.93201834.07201810.9020170.0220185.712018
Angola4.852012
Lithuania4.5720186.6020187.902017201829.342018
Niger4.432012
Chile4.40201865.21201869.5020171.632018639.032018
Latvia4.36201833.50201813.4020170.52201827.692018
Turkmenistan4.2220061.7320062.702004
Moldova4.1020185.08201815.1020172.1620143.072014
Timor Leste4.10201510.7020170.3220171.852017
Pakistan3.88201812.5120181.8020179.4520187.032018
Solomon Islands3.772008217.93200824.202008
Mozambique3.5120112.302009
Cook Islands3.492012
Liberia3.262012
Sao Tome and Principe3.2520112.172011201120110.542011
New Caledonia3.202009
Samoa3.152013
India3.08201826.1320139.1020135.1120132.852013
Tunisia3.062012
Gibraltar2.982010
Mauritius2.92201818.38201137.2020114.00201165.062011
Martinique2.772009
Liechtenstein2.642018208.34201821.20201720165.282018
Turkey2.592018102.82201454.00201442.67201433.982016
Thailand2.58201713.3120185.0020170.0120181.542016
Rwanda2.58201530.51201316.0020130.19201325.642013
Egypt2.5520120.4020110.1020110.3220113.162011
Iran2.502014
Guam2.502011
Hungary2.492017137.4320146.0020170.0220187.172018
Lebanon2.492018111.5720162.20201715.38201542.692015
Sri Lanka2.42201813.61201811.3020171.23201814.822018
Belarus2.3920187.6520189.2020170.06201815.482018
Bangladesh2.3720180.4020060.792006
Fiji2.312014
Nepal2.3020160.2420160.0720160.312016
Albania2.2920184.6820183.9020170.1720184.612018
Myanmar2.2620168.7120180.7020130.0120180.342016
Montenegro2.23201824.3720183.702017201819.592018
Georgia2.2220185.6520143.2020140.1020109.342018
Azerbaijan2.2020183.0620181.2020170.0320184.282018
Kyrgyzstan2.1920182.5420180.32201810.412018
Malaysia2.13201321.822006
Estonia2.1220186.80201819.602017201815.232017
Ghana2.092017
Aruba1.932014
Cambodia1.842011
Kuwait1.82201224.32200918.00200912.692009
Reunion1.822009
Malawi1.812012
Canada1.762018150.81201795.30201710.29201761.912017
Sierra Leone1.732015323.97200810.202008
Belgium1.692017549.91201872.50201710.242017141.762018
Armenia1.6920186.0620183.5020171.8620189.692018
Tajikistan1.64201148.5220112.6020112.2320113.742011
Finland1.63201829.13201855.4020170.07201829.762017
Malta1.59201841.66201817.802017201847.352018
Vietnam1.532011
Israel1.492017575.24201161.1020113.54201136.682011
Morocco1.422018308.99201811.3020172.29201848.712018
Cameroon1.39201718.1520173.1020143.50201718.152017
Algeria1.362015123.5720158.5020151.30201565.502015
Jordan1.362017261.9420060.5720066.062017
Bulgaria1.30201835.7120189.2020170.89201817.942018
Romania1.2820181.2920187.8020171.56201816.792018
Saudi Arabia1.2720175.5720170.1020151.7820179.292017
Cyprus1.26201811.1020181.7020170.3420186.142018
Burkina Faso1.252017
Serbia1.23201813.8920183.5020170.16201820.712017
France1.202018375.63201664.1020175.902016154.342017
North Macedonia1.2020187.1120174.9020170.34201720.032017
Bhutan1.192018145.50201810.30201720182.282017
Bosnia and Herzegovina1.17201827.3520184.7020170.30201819.692017
Guinea Bissau1.152017112.2120160.73201620.312016
Uzbekistan1.1420174.3720170.0720172.602017
Slovakia1.14201829.29201812.9020171.6920188.712018
Benin1.13201747.7420174.7420171.632017
Sweden1.08201847.222018190.60201786.712018
Denmark1.01201832.28201883.60201731.622018
Austria0.97201841.74201848.2020170.06201826.952018
Tonga0.972012
Germany0.952018164.48201842.1020175.49201844.222018
Greece0.94201815.0820184.3020170.70201841.422018
Australia0.892018292.022018101.5020171.77201840.652018
Iceland0.89201836.232018142.30201714.652017
Syria0.8820180.8020180.4020080.122008
Ireland0.87201893.51201860.9020171.60201745.142018
Taiwan0.822015
Portugal0.7920185.65201824.7020172.662018102.822018
New Zealand0.742017533.962018126.0020179.51201866.692018
Poland0.73201817.4320188.5020170.65201517.932018
Maldives0.72201371.31201785.6020176.85201717.532017
Hong Kong0.65201865.05201825.1020130.0120131.992018
Spain0.62201839.18201820.3020170.172018129.132018
Czech Republic0.62201746.57201813.3020170.12201813.182018
South Korea0.602018103.31201847.2020170.0920181.602018
Netherlands0.59201826.82201828.3020172.46201846.162018
Switzerland0.5920186.86201830.7020170.09201819.282018
Croatia0.58201817.64201811.4020170.24201618.742018
Italy0.572018109.4420188.4020170.30201847.812018
China0.532018
Bahrain0.522014327.82200815.7020082.192006
Palestine0.49201815.2420183.1020130.28201286.172013
Slovenia0.48201874.31201820.6020170.29201812.712018
Norway0.47201836.872018106.40201714.752017
United Arab Emirates0.4620172.1720184.8020160.8020183.222018
Indonesia0.4320174.1820182.1020170.0820183.152018
French Polynesia0.382009
Qatar0.37201439.5620040.802004
Luxembourg0.342017101.12201861.2020175.97201876.702017
Macau0.3220181.11201817.3020170.17201310.922018
Senegal0.2720152.4120100.9020160.01201517.172015
Oman0.2720181.0120182.8020170.2320180.712017
Japan0.26201819.0720165.6020160.1820161.822016
Singapore0.1620187.57201830.60201720111.272018
Isle of Man2016
Andorra2015170.53201514.1020151.26201410.262015
Monaco2015522.23201513.1020162.63201631.812015
San Marino2011
Vatican City2015201520152015
Madagascar9.0320154.6020150.0420157.182015
Ivory Coast51.6420083.702008
Guinea3.0820070.3020070.262008
showing: 200 rows

Which country has the most violent crimes?

The country with the most violent crimes in the world is El Salvador.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources