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Countries with the Lowest Murder Rate

Can you name the countries of the world that have had the lowest rate of intentional homicide since 2000?
Primary source: United Nations
Average rate for the years 2000–2023. Rate = Murders per 100,000 people per year.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: June 24, 2024
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First submittedNovember 18, 2018
Times taken62,220
Average score65.0%
Rating4.54
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Country
0
Vatican City
0.26
Japan
0.30
San Marino
0.32
Singapore
0.44
Qatar
0.44
Monaco
0.49
Norway
Rate
Country
0.50
Austria
0.51
Bahrain
0.56
Switzerland
0.56
Spain
0.60
Denmark
0.60
Indonesia
0.62
Iceland
Rate
Country
0.65
Brunei
0.69
United Arab
Emirates
0.70
Ireland
0.73
Luxembourg
0.74
Italy
0.75
South Korea
101 Recent Comments
+24
Level 83
Nov 19, 2018
If you included two more years, Vatican would've been way off this list.
+24
Level 82
Apr 11, 2024
Haha, indeed!

(For those who don't know, in 1998 the Commander of the Swiss Guard and his wife were murdered. Since in 1998, the Vatican estimated population was about 660 then that would have made the murder rate for that year 303/100,000. Even averaging it over the period 1998-2019 that would still have made it 14/100,000. As @Djilas implies, that would have blown it completely off the list...)

+24
Level 62
Nov 19, 2018
Four Muslim countries on this list! Take that in, Islamophobes!
+91
Level 82
Nov 19, 2018
Far more non Muslim countries though hey, take that in, ridiculous statement makers.
+129
Level 70
Nov 23, 2018
Three countries with the letter "w" in on this list! Take that in, w-phobes!
+5
Level 59
Jan 23, 2019
now 4
+13
Level 82
Jan 23, 2019
Also pokes some holes in the theory that harsh punishments do not work as a deterrent.
+37
Level 58
Jan 23, 2019
How so? There are only two countries on the list that executed people in 2016, Japan and Singapore. The vast majority don't have 'harsh punishments' and so that would suggest that you don't need harsh punishments as a deterrent. If they worked then China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, USA etc. would all be topping this list?
+12
Level 65
Jan 23, 2019
USA doesn't follow through with most of their "harsh" punishments. Death penalty sentences in most states are not carried out. With our messed up legal system that is riddled with corrupt lawyers, it is easy to get a sentence reduced.
+2
Level 59
Jul 5, 2024
This is first class nonsense.
+14
Level 82
Jan 23, 2019
hirsute: Saudi Arabia has an extremely low crime rate, beating out places like Canada, Kuwait, and Belgium. As do other similar countries the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar, which are the ones we're actually talking about. Try to focus. Part of the reason for this is that people in those countries are afraid. Everyone knows that there are harsh punishments, and police presence is felt almost everywhere. It's not the only reason but it's a big part of it. I've actually lived in these places before. Have you?

Saudi Arabia's crime rate is very very low but it's still a big country. It's not just about punishment but also policing. The other Gulf states that make the above list have even lower crime rates because they are smaller and easier to control. Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt are huge, populous countries that in many places are pretty lawless. It's downright silly to try and make a comparison between them and the smaller, more prosperous police states of the Gulf.

+1
Level 83
Jun 27, 2024
So in order to have a "safe" country, just implement grievous punishments and have a draconian police force. Problem solved, thanks kal!
+1
Level 65
Jul 3, 2024
Actually, yes. However, there isn't much freedom to speak of in those countries. Being a "free" country means giving up some things.
+1
Level 59
Jul 5, 2024
Yeah but the problem is that you cited the quiz as evidence the harsh punishments work, It isn't.

You've now moved onto different ground where essentially you're claiming highly authoritarian countries have lower levels of crime. So it's not the severity of the punishment that's the deterrent it's the chance of being caught.

completely different argument.

+6
Level 82
Jan 23, 2019
But if you were going to, Iran, Egypt, Kurdistan, Syria, and Kuwait all have much lower intentional homicide rates than places like Estonia, Martinique, Greenland or the United States.
+5
Level 64
Oct 1, 2021
You make some good points but I think it's really difficult to completely analyse why the crime rate is so low.

I believe the structure of the society in the Gulf states is probably relevant. Most violent crime is committed by people in poverty which I don't believe exists in the same capacity as in the west.

You have wealthy locals and well paid expats who are unlikely to commit such crimes and then the "lower classes" are all immigrants that have their basic needs taken care of, they send money home to their families, and they will immediately be deported if they so much as fart near a local. They're there to make money. I don't think the same can be said for a lot of lower class people in other countries.

+3
Level 93
Jun 24, 2024
It's also worth noting that there are certain crimes in several of the aforementioned countries that would be severely punished in Western nations but oftentimes don't even result in arrests. Crimes such as honor killings, or attempted honor killings. Though I doubt that such crimes occur often enough to change the rates for any nation enough to knock it off the list, it is still worth pointing out.
+2
Level 74
Jun 24, 2024
I think looking at the state of human rights in the Gulf states will show why a low crime rate isn't everything. Sure, harsh punishments and a strong government to carry them out might deter crime, but it does not deter abuse. In Bahrain you're trading murders for torturing *suspects.*
+4
Level 72
Nov 25, 2018
Out of interest what are the rates for USA, Canada and Australia? Link won't load for me for some reason.
+12
Level 58
Jan 23, 2019
USA in 2016 was 5.35. Higher than Pakistan, angola, Cuba and North Korea. I am glad to be living in the UK with a rate of 1.2. Nearly 5 times less likely to be murdered than in the USA! Australia 0.94 and Canada 1.68
+5
Level 67
Jan 23, 2019
If Australia was 0.94 it should be on the list.
+7
Level 82
Jan 23, 2019
This difference will have no appreciable effect on your life whatsoever. The odds that it would are similar to the odds of winning the lottery.
+19
Level 70
Jan 25, 2019
@kal, this isn't true. Murders affect far more people than the one who was murdered. Not just family, friends, etc. but probably everyone in the surrounding area, and the difference will almost certainly be noticeable if you happen to be a police officer, someone involved in criminal justice, a forensic anthropologist, or a variety of other professions. The chances probably are that you will never be significantly and demonstrably affected by a higher murder rate. But the chances that you will be are far greater than winning the lottery (assuming you mean the jackpot, winning a small prize at some point is quite likely if you play enough).
+11
Level 82
Jan 26, 2019
I didn't say that they were exactly the same. I said similar. Very very small. AND... I was speaking to the difference in murder rate between the USA and the UK. (which, if you are not a drug dealer or in a gang in the United States, is actually all but non-existent).

I could split hairs even further and say I was not talking about any specific lottery (some drawings are not that contested and I didn't actually say the jackpot), but the point is that it's stupid to be happy that you're living in the UK vs the USA if the reason for that happiness is the difference in murder rates. This will not affect your life.

+7
Level 93
Jun 24, 2024
That's like saying, "only five people died in that school shooting in your town, and you're still alive, so it doesn't affect you at all."
+2
Level 66
Jul 7, 2024
What an awful response, saying lower-class drug dealers can only commit murders and not the middle upper-classes.

Can we ban kalbahamut already? Not sure what he adds to this site.

+6
Level 70
Feb 16, 2019
9-11 has affected many peoples lives, while statistically only a small percentage of people died that day.
+6
Level 58
Jan 23, 2019
Looks like the Caribbean and Central and South America are the places to avoid if you don't want to be murdered. El Salvador 82.84 and in Brazil there were 61, 283 murders in one year! Puts the USA in the shade with it's paltry 17,250 murders
+5
Level 76
Jan 23, 2019
Looks like someone's taking the countries with the highest numbers in each region and making a blanket statement for the whole of said regions. >___>
+11
Level ∞
Aug 26, 2021
Sorry @Ferbin. Latin America has by far the highest murder rate of any region.
+3
Level 63
Nov 10, 2023
But ferbin didnt argue against that op so idk what you are trying to make clear by saying that to him
+3
Level 63
Nov 30, 2022
Out of interest, is there a significant difference between the Southern Cone and the rest of Latin America? Wouldn't be surprised if the most affluent part of Latin America was also the least homicide-y.
+1
Level 65
Nov 26, 2018
Absence of Canada surprised me a bit.
+7
Level 58
Jan 23, 2019
Canada 1.68, quite a long way off unfortunately
+1
Level 82
Jan 23, 2019
Got everything except Germany.
+7
Level 67
Jan 23, 2019
One wonders where Norway would be on this list, minus the actions of Anders Breivik. It's also interesting that the whole nordic noir movement has taken off in recent years, and is so popular internationally, and yet these countries have such low homicide rates. Coming soon to your TV screens, the Arab Gulf noir movement....or maybe not? Doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
+11
Level ∞
Aug 26, 2021
I just did the math. They would be 2 spots higher with a rate of 0.69. That one incident more than doubled Norway's murder rate in 2011.
+1
Level 75
Jan 23, 2019
Bhutan?
+4
Level 68
Jan 25, 2019
Apparently we can't read ^^
+4
Level 25
Jan 23, 2019
Ok, so where the heck is finland? me is gunna die
+10
Level 72
Jan 23, 2019
These stats are going to change real soon with the influx of Muslims coming into Europe!
+43
Level 77
Jan 23, 2019
Well that was uncalled for.
+37
Level 76
Jan 23, 2019
The influx has been happening already for years, and yet they haven't affected the numbers. But go ahead and believe the xenophobic false propaganda some politicians and media are feeding you. >__>
+12
Level 82
Jan 23, 2019
Will you see more organized groups of men systematically grooming underage girls to be gang raped and then not prosecuted by police who fear that doing so would make them seem racist? Probably. But murder? Not so much. The murder rates in most Muslim countries are lower than that of Eastern Europe.
+5
Level 27
Jul 5, 2020
yes because many implement sharia based strict laws that discourage crimes
+1
Level 66
Apr 22, 2024
that's not...
+6
Level 23
Jan 24, 2019
What about Finland? Surprised it wasn't on the list.
+7
Level 75
Sep 25, 2021
High level of gun ownership, high level of alcoholism, a culture of getting involved in everyone else's business other than your own (i.e. jealousy).. it all adds up to a few more murders here than you'd think.
+2
Level 47
Jan 24, 2019
Japan and Germany are apparently among the countries with the cleverest murderers
+3
Level 35
Jan 25, 2019
Oddly enough (or perhaps not) this list matches up with countries that have higher than average national IQ scores.
+5
Level 70
Jan 25, 2019
Better education is definitely correlated with both.
+8
Level 82
Jan 27, 2019
there is no such data available from any source that has not been almost universally panned and discredited.
+2
Level 70
Jan 28, 2019
I suspect you could find a correlation if there was any good data. But it is perfectly possible that there never can be good data because studies comparing nations where everyone is in a Western education system to ones where most people aren't educated are going to be biased somehow anyway.
+4
Level 74
Sep 24, 2022
Considering a large number of serial killers have high IQs, I find your comment to be bunk.
+3
Level 81
Jun 24, 2024
Serial killers generally make up a pretty small percentage of total murders. The typical murderer is going to probably be gang members or poorer people with low levels of education.
+3
Level 70
Feb 16, 2019
The amount if Asian/middle east countries surprised me (admittedly I got none...) also missed Slovenia, and sort of didnt expect Spain to be on here though I got it.
+1
Level 70
Feb 16, 2019
And yes, I tried canada.. ;)
+3
Level 70
Feb 16, 2019
I love how the description says "intentional" homicides haha. So the oops, I killed you, don't not count
+10
Level 67
Sep 25, 2021
I did some criminal justice work in Malawi, where people are held as "murderers" if they bear any responsibility (none at all, sometimes) for someone's death. One man I met was driving a moped with his friend on the back when his friend had an epileptic seizure, fell off the moped, hit his head, and died. The police did not dispute this. Yet he was still held as a murderer. The law also provides for manslaughter, but it's incumbent on the defendant to establish that, and most of these people are poor farmers who don't even understand the distinction. It was very sad to see.
+1
Level 36
Apr 21, 2020
Africa and the Americas are not happy...
+1
Level 68
Nov 11, 2020
20/22 first try, thought about trying Slovenia but then didn't do it. Happens way to often to me. Never would have guessed Brunei though.
+2
Level 76
Aug 28, 2021
Taiwan's figures, if you average the numbers over the 9 selected years between 2001 and 2015 in this page, give a rate of 0.88.
+3
Level 70
Aug 29, 2021
Italy surprised me. I thought with all the mafia and stuff they wouldn't make the list but maybe the stereotype is exaggerated.
+1
Level 73
Sep 25, 2021
Italy is a very safe country, despite all the mafias. In fact, fortunately, a murder is still an important news here.

Fortunately, owning a weapon is very difficult

+5
Level 87
Aug 30, 2021
This is why I have been avoiding Liechtenstein ... too dangerous.
+1
Level 66
Sep 25, 2021
Ahahaha
+5
Level 82
Sep 25, 2021
I've long had my eye on those murderous kiwis.
+2
Level 72
Sep 27, 2021
That is funny with those micronations, with 1 murder in 1 year, the murder rate explodes from 0 to 2.6 :D
+1
Level 69
Sep 25, 2021
Portugal is 0.8
+1
Level 69
Sep 25, 2021
I didn't expect Italy because of their mafia/organised crime which is really a big one 🤫😅
+4
Level 76
Sep 25, 2021
The Italian Mafia has lost much of its presence in Italy over the years.
+2
Level 46
Sep 25, 2021
what about all the oceania countries? they have very small populations. very surprising to not see them
+4
Level 76
Sep 25, 2021
You would be surprised about the level of crime and lawlessness in some of those microstates. Much of that is linked to a high degree of alcoholism prevalent in those countries. Added to their culture of male chauvinism, where being violent is often regarded as a symbol of male pride.
+1
Level 62
Sep 25, 2021
How do you know Taiwan is low if there's no data lol
+2
Level 59
Oct 25, 2022
probably no reliable data or exact numbers
+2
Level 46
Sep 25, 2021
Kind of insane how a country of over 100 million people is only outdone by microcountries with less than 100k people, same with Japan going for one of the highest life expectancies. Really odd one that country
+4
Level 65
Sep 27, 2021
A single person gets murdered in Vatican City and it's off the list...
+1
Level 75
May 25, 2023
If what Dan Brown reported in Angels and Demons were true...
+10
Level 48
Dec 8, 2022
Who's getting murdered in Liechtenstein???
+2
Level 27
Jan 22, 2023
What? The murder rate of Japan is only 0.4%? That's impossible! Just a pupil detective from Beika, Tokyo could solve more than 1000 murders within half a year.
+2
Level 41
Jan 26, 2023
I don't know I don't really trust that number for Japan
+1
Level 84
May 4, 2023
Surprised Monaco is not higher up on this list. Lots of drunk rich people murdering each other?
+3
Level 82
Apr 11, 2024
I think there's a bit of screwiness going on, amplified by the fact that the overall numbers are small so tiny changes get magnified.

There was, so far as I can figure from Googling around, 1 murder in Monaco in each of 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

This puts the rate at pretty close to 3.1/100,000 for those 4 years. Averaging it out over 2000-2019 we should get an average rate of 0.63/100,000.

However that's not what we see. Instead, working backward from the 1.03 figure, that gives us a total number of 6 murders over that 19-year period.

It's possible that there were 2 other homicides that aren't turning up in my search results... or that the years 2002 & 2003 get "glossed over" (such as in this graph) and the rate of ~3 gets incorrectly applied to all 6 of those years. Hard to tell.

Either way, again: the tyranny of small numbers.

+1
Level 66
Feb 21, 2024
The fact that only one guy got murdered in San Marino
+3
Level 66
Jun 24, 2024
I'm surprised that Indonesia's murder rate is so low. Is there any particular reason for that?
+2
Level 68
Jun 24, 2024
I'm surprised too.
+1
Level 20
Jun 25, 2024
Because there is a harsh penalty
+2
Level 65
Jun 25, 2024
Still the fourth most populous country spread across hundreds of islands. There's certainly more to that than just "harsh punishment"

Or I could put on my tinfoil hat and say it's Indonesian Government Propaganda lol.

+1
Level 65
Jun 25, 2024
I wonder how skewed those numbers are in Japan, since the police in that country have a tendency to report any murder they can't solve as a suicide.
+2
Level 29
Jun 25, 2024
Spain, Italy and Indonesia???? Nice quiz lol with interesting stats
+3
Level 71
Jul 3, 2024
There's no way Indonesia has a lower rate than, say, New Zealand.
+1
Level ∞
Jul 3, 2024
Why not?
+1
Level 58
Jul 3, 2024
Indonesia has a lower murder rate than Iceland???????!!!!!!!
+3
Level ∞
Jul 3, 2024
That's what the numbers say. I'm skeptical personally and think that Iceland probably diligently reports every murder while Indonesia does not.

Nevertheless it's not impossible. Most East Asian countries and most Muslim countries have low murder rates. Indonesia is kind of the intersection of those groups.

+2
Level 48
Jul 3, 2024
Switzerland is an interesting one: a society with very high gun ownership, but very low homicide rates. They do have very strict rules on how those guns are stored and used, but even so. It shows what can be done in the right circumstances (I suspect there will be cultural and societal factors that cannot easily be replicated in other countries though).
+1
Level 39
Jul 3, 2024
I don't buy many of these to be honest.

I know for a fact that many more crimes occur in Singapore than are reported.

+1
Level 59
Jul 9, 2024
So close! This is about murder rate
+1
Level 47
Jul 3, 2024
Why Italy, Spain or Indonesia has lower rate than Poland or Estonia?
+1
Level 45
Jul 4, 2024
why are people so angry on here it's just a quiz that's based on stats why are people arguing on it ?
+1
Level 47
Jul 4, 2024
There is no way Indonesia should be on that list. They have the death penalty for little stuff like importing drugs and LITTERAL PIRATES
+1
Level 65
Jul 17, 2024
Indonesia, really a low murder rate or just woefully inept police and judicial system, hmmm I wonder...