The world is a violent place. From wars to natural disasters, there is no shortage of violence in the world. But what about the cities we live in? Are they safe? Unfortunately, not all cities are created equal when it comes to safety. Some cities are downright dangerous.
It’s no secret that some cities are more dangerous than others. But which ones are the most violent?
A recent report by the Mexican Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (CPSCJ) has revealed the most violent cities in the world, based on homicide rates.
The report, which was released in September 2019, shows that of the 506 cities considered, 24 were located in Brazil, 12 in Mexico, eight in Venezuela, four in the United States, and two each in Colombia and Honduras.
So, without further ado, in this article, we will talk about the most violent cities in the world. So read on!
Table of contents
- Top 20 Most Violent Cities In The World
- 1. Los Cabos- Mexico
- 2. Cali- Colombia
- 3. Feira de Santana-Brazil
- 4. Pretoria – South Africa
- 5. San Pedro Sula- Honduras
- 6. Salvador – Brazil
- 7. San Juan – Puerto Rico
- 8. Baltimore – Maryland, USA
- 9. Natal – Brazil
- 10. Culiacán- México
- 11. Maceio- Brazil
- 12. St Louis – Missouri, USA
- 13. Kingston – Jamaica
- 14. Aracaju- Brazil
- 15. Cape Town – South Africa
- 16. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
- 17. Durban – South Africa
- 18. Ciudad Bolívar- Venezuela
- 19.Ciudad Guayana- Venezuela
- 20. Belem- Brazil
- How To Protect Yourself When Traveling in Violent Cities?
- What Are Your Best Solutions For Staying Safe in These Cities?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 20 Most Violent Cities In The World
Mexico’s Citizens’ Council releases the list of the world’s most violent cities every year for Public Safety and Criminal Justice. The council is a non-governmental organization that promotes public safety.
The list is based on the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants. Below are some of the most violent cities in the world.
1. Los Cabos- Mexico
According to a report by the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Los Cabos was the most violent municipality in Mexico in 2017. In 2018, it was ranked as the second most violent city in the world by the Citizens’ Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice. The city has a murder rate of 132 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Los Cabos is located on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. It is a popular tourist destination for its beaches, resorts, and nightlife. However, the city has been plagued by violence in recent years due to drug trafficking and organized crime.
In 2017, there were 1,247 murders in Los Cabos. This was an increase of over 80% from the previous year. The majority of these murders were linked to drug trafficking and turf wars between criminal gangs.
The Mexican government has deployed troops to the city in an attempt to reduce the violence. However, many residents have fled Los Cabos due to insecurity. In 2018, it was estimated that over 10% of the population had left the city.
You can check out: Top 20 Smallest Cities In The World In 2023 | With Photos
2. Cali- Colombia
With a homicide rate of 29.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, Cali is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Most of the violence is concentrated in poor neighborhoods and is linked to the illegal drug trade. Other factors contributing to the high level of violence include the presence of paramilitary groups and gangs, as well as weak state institutions.
Cali, Colombia is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The homicide rate in Cali is nearly four times that of the rest of Colombia, and there have been several high-profile kidnappings and murders in recent years.
In addition, drug trafficking and gang violence are rampant in Cali, making it a very dangerous place to live.
You should also check out: 20 Most Advanced Cities In The World In 2023 | With Photos
3. Feira de Santana-Brazil
In Feira de Santana, Brazil, violence is a way of life. The city has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and drug trafficking and gang warfare are rampant. Residents who live in this city live in fear of being caught in the crossfire, and stray bullets have killed or wounded many.
The city’s police force is notoriously corrupt and ineffective, and many residents feel that they have no recourse but to take matters into their own hands.
Vigilante justice is not unheard of, and even the most law-abiding citizens are armed with knives and guns.
Take out time to read: 20 Most Educated Cities In The World In 2023 | With Photos
4. Pretoria – South Africa
In Pretoria, South Africa, violence is a very real problem. The city has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and gang violence is rampant.
In addition, there is a high rate of violence against women and children. If you are planning to visit Pretoria, it is important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself.
If you must travel to Pretoria, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of violence. First, try to avoid traveling alone. It is always safer to travel with someone else.
Second, be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts if something feels wrong. Third, carry only what you need with you and leave valuables at home or in a hotel safe.
Finally, dress conservatively and avoid wearing expensive jewelry or clothing that could make you a target for criminals.
You shouldn’t miss this article: 20 Most Sexually Liberal Cities In The World In 2023 | With Photos
5. San Pedro Sula- Honduras
San Pedro Sula in Honduras has been called the most violent city in the world. In 2012, there were 1,218 homicides in the city of just over 800,000 people.
That works out to a homicide rate of 159 per 100,000 people, making it nearly seven times more dangerous than New Orleans, which had the highest homicide rate in the United States that year.
The violence in San Pedro Sula is largely fueled by gangs and the drug trade. Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 are two of the most powerful gangs operating in the city. They are responsible for much of the violence as they battle for control of turf and the drug trade.
The violence has had a devastating effect on the city’s residents. Many have been forced to flee their homes and live in fear for their lives. The crime has also made it difficult for businesses to operate and has driven away tourists.
Don’t fail to also read: 20 Best Beach Cities To Live In The World In 2023 | With Photos
6. Salvador – Brazil
In recent years, Brazil has been one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The city of Salvador, in particular, has been plagued by violence. In 2017, the city had a murder rate of 60 per 100,000 people. This is more than five times the national average.
The vast majority of violent crime in Salvador is gang-related. The two main gangs in the city are the First Capital Command (Comando Vermelho) and the Family of North Bahia (Familia do Norte da Bahia).
These gangs are involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and other illegal activities. They often target each other, as well as innocent civilians.
If you are planning to visit Salvador, it is important to be aware of the risks. Avoid walking around alone at night and be cautious when dealing with strangers.
Take out time to also read: 20 Cities With Highest Uv Index In The World In 2023 | With Photos
7. San Juan – Puerto Rico
Since 1956, this city has also been known as Ciudad Universitaria de San Juan (“University City of San Juan”) after the establishment of the University of Puerto Rico there.
In recent years, however, San Juan has seen a dramatic increase in crime rates. In fact, according to a study by Mexico’s National Autonomous University, it is now one of the most violent cities in Latin America.
The reasons for this spike in violence are varied and complex, but they include drug trafficking, gang activity, poverty, and unemployment.
You can also read through; 20 Most Humid Cities In The World In 2023 | With Photos
8. Baltimore – Maryland, USA
The city of Baltimore has been struggling with violence for many years. Baltimore’s violence problem is not new. The city has been dealing with high levels of violence for decades.
In the 1990s, Baltimore was nicknamed “Bodymore, Murderland” because of its high homicide rate. In 1993, there were 353 homicides in Baltimore. That’s a rate of 58 per 100,000 people.
Many factors contribute to the high levels of violence in the city. Poverty and the illegal drug trade are the factors that play a role in Baltimore’s violence problem.
28% of residents live below the poverty line. That’s more than double the national poverty rate of 13%. Baltimore also has a history of police brutality and corruption. This has led to mistrust between residents and law enforcement.
9. Natal – Brazil
In Brazil, violence is a serious problem. According to the World Health Organization, Brazil has the second highest rate of violent death in the world, with an average of 30.8 homicides per 100,000 people.
This means that Brazil’s homicide rate is more than twice the global average. Many different factors contribute to the high levels of violence in Brazil. Poverty and inequality are two of the most important factors. Other factors include the illegal drug trade, gangs, and firearms.
The Brazilian government has been working to try to reduce the levels of violence in the country. In recent years, they have implemented several initiatives, including gun control measures and programs, to help at-risk youth. However, much more needs to be done to bring down the high levels of violence in Brazil.
10. Culiacán- México
Culiacán is one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2018, there were 2,234 homicides in the city, which has a population of about 1 million.
That works out to a homicide rate of about 217 per 100,000 people, which is more than 10 times the global average. The situation shows no signs of improving anytime soon. If anything, it seems likely to get worse before it gets better.
Most of the violence in Culiacán is linked to drug trafficking. The city is a major hub for the Sinaloa cartel, one of the most powerful and violent criminal organizations in Mexico.
The cartel is involved in all aspects of the drug trade, from production to distribution to sales. It also engages in other criminal activities, such as money laundering, extortion, and kidnapping.
11. Maceio- Brazil
Maceio is a city in northeastern Brazil and the capital of the state of Alagoas. The city has a population of 913,072 (2020 estimate) and is located on a long stretch of beach along the Atlantic Ocean. Maceio is known for its Carnival celebrations and for its many beaches, which are popular tourist destinations.
The city has a high rate of violent crime, with a murder rate of 30.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020. This makes it one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil and one of the most violent cities in the world.
In 2019, there were 1,730 murders in Maceio, an increase from 1,563 in 2018. Drug trafficking and gang violence are major problems in the city.
12. St Louis – Missouri, USA
There is no denying that St. Louis, Missouri has a problem with violence. The city’s homicide rate is consistently high, and in 2017 it was the most dangerous city in the country according to FBI data. While the overall crime rate in St. Louis has been declining in recent years, violent crime remains a serious issue.
One contributing factor to the violence in St. Louis is the city’s high poverty rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one-quarter of residents live below the poverty line. Additionally, gangs are a major problem in St. Louis, with turf wars often leading to bloody battles on the streets.
The police department has been working hard to crack down on crime, and community groups are providing resources and support to at-risk youth. With continued effort, St. Louis may eventually see a decline in its violent crime rate
13. Kingston – Jamaica
Jamaica is one of the most violent countries in the world with a murder rate of 29.7 per 100,000 people. The majority of murders in Jamaica are gang-related and occur in urban areas. Kingston, the capital city, has the highest murder rate in the country.
The high levels of violence in Jamaica have had a devastating impact on the population. Many people live in fear and insecurity, and many have been forced to leave their homes due to the threat of violence. The economy has also suffered as businesses have been forced to close due to intimidation from gangs.
Many factors contribute to the high levels of violence in Jamaica. Poverty, unemployment, and a lack of opportunity are all major drivers of crime.
Additionally, the Jamaican government has been unable to effectively crack down on organized crime and gangs, which have become increasingly powerful in recent years.
14. Aracaju- Brazil
Aracaju, Brazil is unfortunately one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2017, there were 1,374 homicides in the city – that’s a rate of 58.6 per 100,000 people. That makes it the second most dangerous city in Brazil (behind only Maceió) and the sixth most dangerous city in the world.
Several factors contribute to the high levels of violence in Aracaju. First, there is a large presence of drug gangs in the city. These gangs are often involved in turf wars with each other, which can lead to fatal shootings. Additionally, there is a lot of poverty and social inequality in Aracaju, which can fuel discontent and lead to crime.
The Brazilian government has implemented several programs aimed at reducing violence in Aracaju, but so far these have not been very successful.
In 2018, the government launched a “Safe City” program which included increasing police patrols and installing more street lighting. However, this program was suspended after just six months due to a lack of funding.
15. Cape Town – South Africa
Cape Town has been consistently ranked as one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2015, it was ranked the 6th most dangerous city in the world by The Economist.
In 2016, it was ranked the 4th most dangerous city in the world by Business Insider. And in 2017, it was once again ranked the 6th most dangerous city in the world by The Economist.
We attribute the high levels of violence in Cape Town to several factors, including gang activity, drug trafficking, and poverty. Cape town also has a very high rate of murders, with an average of 30 per 100,000 people.
This is significantly higher than the global average of 6 per 100,000 people. Several initiatives have been undertaken to reduce violence in Cape Town. However, so far these efforts have not had a significant impact on reducing violence levels in the city.
16. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
In recent years, Rio de Janeiro has become known for its high levels of violence. In 2016, the city had a murder rate of 26 per 100,000 people, making it one of the most violent cities in the world.
The vast majority of violence in Rio de Janeiro is gang-related. Drug trafficking gangs have been fighting for control of the city’s slums, or favelas, for many years. These turf wars often result in innocent bystanders being caught in the crossfire.
The Brazilian government has deployed the military to help combat the violence in Rio de Janeiro.
However, some human rights groups say that this has only made the situation worse, as soldiers are not trained to deal with urban crime and have been responsible for some human rights abuses themselves.
17. Durban – South Africa
Durban, a beautiful coastal city in South Africa, is unfortunately also one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2017, there were 2,138 murders in Durban – a rate of 60 per 100,000 people.
This is more than double the national average of 26 per 100,000 people. Violent crime is often linked to poverty and unemployment, and both are high in Durban.
Nearly 40% of households live below the poverty line, and the unemployment rate is 27%. Gangs are also a big problem in Durban, with violence often used to settle disputes between them.
The police force in Durban is under-resourced and overstretched, which makes it hard for them to effectively tackle crime. The government has been working on a plan to improve security in Durban, but so far it has not had much success.
18. Ciudad Bolívar- Venezuela
Ciudad Bolivar is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. In 2015, there were 1,248 murders in the city – a rate of 119 per 100,000 people. This made it the most violent city in Venezuela and one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
The high levels of violence are due to several factors. There is a lack of law enforcement and security in the city, which makes it easy for criminals to operate with impunity.
There is also a high level of poverty and unemployment, which can lead to desperation and crime. The city is also home to several gangs and drug cartels that compete for control of turf and resources.
19.Ciudad Guayana- Venezuela
Ciudad Guayana is one of the most dangerous cities in Venezuela. In 2015, there were more than 2,000 murders in the city. That is a murder rate of nearly 100 per 100,000 people. To put that into perspective, the murder rate in the United States is only about 5 per 100,000 people.
There are several factors. First, Ciudad Guayana is a major center for drug trafficking. Second, it is located in an area of Venezuela that has seen a lot of political turmoil in recent years.
Finally, the city has a very high poverty rate. All of these factors contribute to an environment where crime and violence are common.
20. Belem- Brazil
Belem, Brazil is one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2017, there were 2,191 homicides in the city, which is a rate of 60.6 per 100,000 people. This makes Belem the second most dangerous city in Brazil and the fifth most dangerous city in the world.
The violence in Belem is largely due to drug trafficking and gang warfare. The city is a major hub for cocaine and other drugs that are smuggled into Brazil from Colombia. Many local gangs compete for control of the drug trade. This has resulted in a high level of violence, as gang members fight each other for turf and customers.
The government has tried to crack down on the violence by increasing police presence and cracking down on drug trafficking. However, these measures have never been very effective. The violence continues to increase, and residents live in fear of becoming victims of crime.
How To Protect Yourself When Traveling in Violent Cities?
When traveling to a violent city, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself. First, be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas that are known to be dangerous. If possible, travel with a group or in pairs so you can watch out for each other.
Secondly, dress down and avoid wearing expensive jewelry or clothing that could make you a target for thieves. Finally, carry a small amount of cash and keep your valuables hidden so you don’t become a victim of the robbery. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure your safety while traveling in a violent city.
What Are Your Best Solutions For Staying Safe in These Cities?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best solution for staying safe in a particular city will vary depending on the specific risks and dangers present in that location.
However, some general tips for staying safe in dangerous cities include avoiding areas known to be high-crime areas, being aware of your surroundings at all times, and traveling in groups when possible.
Additionally, it is always advisable to consult with local authorities or resident experts on the safest areas to visit and the best ways to stay safe before traveling to a new city.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most violent cities in the world are typically those with high levels of poverty and limited access to resources and opportunities. Gang activity, drug trafficking, and other forms of crime are common in these areas, and violence is often used as a means of settling disputes or gaining control over territory. In many cases, these cities also have high levels of corruption and police brutality, which can further contribute to a sense of lawlessness and violence.
Violence has a devastating impact on these cities, both in terms of the human cost and the toll it takes on economic development and social stability. Violence often leads to increased levels of crime and insecurity, which can deter investment and discourage businesses from locating in these areas. This can further perpetuate poverty and exclusion, as well as a cycle of violence. In addition, violent crime often terrorizes residents and makes everyday life extremely difficult and dangerous.
Reducing violence in these cities requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying causes of violence such as poverty, exclusion, crime, and corruption. This includes improving access to education.
In conclusion, the most violent cities in the world are those that have high levels of poverty and inequality.
There is a direct correlation between poverty and violence. The more unequal a city is, the more likely it is to be violent. Cities with high levels of poverty and inequality need to address these issues to reduce violence.
After analyzing the data, it is clear that some cities in the world are more violent than others. However, it is important to remember that these statistics only give us a snapshot of the situation in each city. They do not necessarily reflect the overall safety of a city or its residents.