Countries with the Highest Murder Rate

Can you name the countries that have the most murders per 100,000 people according to the UN?
To make this list, we averaged the murder rates for the years 2010–2019
Quiz by Micky2911
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Last updated: August 26, 2021
First submittedSeptember 18, 2016
Times taken42,521
Rating4.43
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rate
country
61.8
El Salvador
61.4
Honduras
51.2
Venezuela
45.2
St. Kitts and Nevis
44.1
Jamaica
36.4
Guatemala
36.4
Belize
rate
country
36.3
Lesotho
33.2
South Africa
32.6
Trinidad and Tobago
30.7
Bahamas
29.5
Colombia
28.6
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
27.5
Brazil
rate
country
22.5
Mexico
21.6
St. Lucia
17.9
Guyana
17.7
Dominica
17.6
Dominican Republic
15.6
Namibia
+22
Level 68
Apr 5, 2017
Taking this quiz from Belize :)
+16
Level 40
Apr 8, 2017
Still better than Honduras :)
+33
Level ∞
May 13, 2017
For perspective, here are the murder rates in some selected countries:

Russia - 9.5

United States - 3.9

United Kingdom - 0.9

Japan 0.3

+12
Level 69
Sep 7, 2019
Last time I checked, the murder rate in the US was 5.30
+5
Level 36
Jul 18, 2021
Shhhh....
+27
Level 63
May 13, 2017
Also known as name as many American countries as you can, with some African countries.
+25
Level ∞
May 14, 2017
There seem to be two "murder belts".
+7
Level 74
Jul 21, 2017
I find that quite remarkable. I'm trying to figure out the correlation.
+14
Level 55
Jul 21, 2017
I once read Asia is just as bad, but they don't keep track of statistics the same way and lot's of murders are not reported
+34
Level ∞
Jul 24, 2019
I recently learned that the UK only reports murders that result in a conviction, which lowers their "murder rate" by a significant amount. I'd assume that most governments are monkeying with the numbers to a certain amount, although I am fairly confident that the US numbers are accurate.
+17
Level 59
Sep 6, 2019
Maybe central American and Caribbean countries with a history of severe oppression - slavery, and oppression of the indigenous inhabitants by European colonizers.

And likewise for southern Africa - Namibia and South Africa have a long history of oppression by the government.

+3
Level 65
Sep 6, 2019
The number of convictions makes sense to use. If there is no conviction, how do you determine whether it was murder? Are there some countries that go by the number of people dead and are suspected to have been murdered?
+6
Level 43
Sep 6, 2019
Well, there are people who are murdered and they have no idea who did it. So how does the conviction only for stats make sense to you? A few years ago a guy stabbed a clerk to death at a gas station and police posted the suspects pic on the news. The poor quality of the video didn't help ID the guy, and the case is still open. So, because there's no suspect arrested for the homicide, in your eyes, the murder never happened?
+1
Level 65
Sep 8, 2019
I think that is an exception to the general rule (i.e. if the murderer could be identified beyond all reasonable doubt then there would be more than enough evidence to convict them). If somebody is found dead with no video footage of the death then you can only put a percentage on the probability that it was murder (as opposed to suicide, accidental death, etc.). Conviction rates are more objective in the sense that there is good documented evidence. And while it does bias the results towards countries that are successful at prosecuting criminals, the rates of people being "diagnosed" as murdered is biased towards countries that record that successfully, which is likely to have a large overlap.
+8
Level 72
Sep 9, 2019
So if a body is found stabbed multiple times and that was the cause of death, it's not definitive that it was murder just cause there's no proof of someone doing it? I guess the person could've just fallen on a knife... repeatedly. Or maybe their intestines itched and they tried scratching them. This is just one example of many where a murder is quite clear, even if the perpetrator is unknown.
+13
Level 66
Jun 23, 2021
The idea that the UK only counts homicides after conviction is a common NRA talking point. It's also nonsense.
+4
Level 76
Aug 27, 2021
Can you give a cite that disproves it? Not being argumentative, I just couldn't find anything to prove or disprove it online. Just that around 30% of murders in the UK go unsolved (which is actually about average. In some cities in the US, the rate is around 50%).
+2
Level 87
Aug 27, 2021
Basing it on convictions makes more sense than any other way of keeping track, statistics-wise. Even a dead body shot or stabbed repeatedly isn't necessarily a murder victim here in the US until it's been proven in a court of law that the cause of death was by a person who intended to cause grievous harm and was not acting in self defense.
+2
Level 56
Aug 31, 2021
I think people are confusing homicide with murder. Homicide simply means that a human caused another human death. Murder is an unlawful homicide with intent.
+12
Level 72
Jul 21, 2017
Not just African, but distinctly southern African.
+2
Level 42
Jul 21, 2017
Hahaha, I saw your comment first and I gussed, 7-8 countries will be there then. Wrong!
+11
Level 82
May 13, 2017
"Death in Paradise" indeed.
+11
Level 85
May 13, 2017
Surprising that Haiti doesn't make the list.
+17
Level 74
Jul 21, 2017
They can't afford weapons in Haiti.
+31
Level ∞
Jul 24, 2019
More likely murders just don't get recorded.
+6
Level 71
May 14, 2017
I was naming the usual suspects before I had a head-slap moment and realized the smaller the better.
+2
Level 71
May 15, 2017
Brazil goes against that rule, as does Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, I think a better rule would be the South and Central Americas 17 of 22.
+11
Level 72
Jul 21, 2017
Graph this along with Gini coefficients and you might see some pretty strong correlations.
+2
Level 59
Jul 21, 2017
You, sir, are a genius!
+3
Level 46
Jul 21, 2017
Gini Wijnaldum
+2
Level 82
Jul 21, 2017
YNWA
+13
Level 62
Jul 27, 2017
And countries that lie between the U.S. and the main source of cocaine in South America.
+1
Level 71
Aug 29, 2021
"Major Strasser has been shot..."
+20
Level 72
May 14, 2017
I think that the murder rates in some of the poorer countries in Africa, as well as in other undeveloped countries like Papua New Guinea, are actually far higher than the official statistics. I think a lot of them just go unreported.

Namibia, for example, is one of the most developed countries in Sub Saharan Africa, yet has one of the highest murder rates of all of Africa? I don't believe it.

+7
Level ∞
May 14, 2017
I agree that this is probably true.
+4
Level 86
May 15, 2017
About to type the same thing. I imagine there are a lot of countries in Africa and from the India Subcontinent west in Asia that aren't faithfully reported. Notable countries not on this list Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria. It may be that these countries are in more or less a state of war/anarchy that most of the deaths are considered casualties of war. According to the page linked as the source Afghanistan is a safer place than Argentina and Ethiopia. The Americas and Namibia south are stable and because of influence of the US and Western Europe are going to try to report accurate information.
+2
Level 72
Jul 21, 2017
Yes, that's true too. Perhaps deaths in places like Afghanistan/Somalia could also be attributed to not only war, but also to terrorism rather than murder.
+2
Level 75
Jul 25, 2019
Are war deaths not counted as murder? Technically killing someone in war is murder. So places like Syria and Yemen etc should be on this list?
+2
Level 71
Aug 8, 2019
You can learn about these mysteries of methodology by following the link to the source. The specific type of killing required for this list is the legal definition of homicide, which removes suicide and war deaths (but not necessarily civil hostilities) right off the bat. The UNODC (UN Office of Drugs & Crime, which is the compiler of these data) also elected to exclude justifiable homicide (e.g. self-defense) and unintentional killings from accidents, even if negligence was involved. The UNODC is using a boatload of sources to compile their numbers, which are listed in the Wikipedia article; there’s also some info on which numbers are probably accurate, and which probably aren’t, although to get a beefier understanding you’d have to go to the (very beefy) methodology document from the UNODC.
+2
Level 58
Sep 6, 2019
If you kill one man, it is murder. If you kill 5 million, it is a statistic.
+2
Level 42
Sep 8, 2019
vomitingdiamonds, murder is the "unlawful" killing of another human being. In a country like Syria or Afghanistan, law is definitely a matter of perspective and you'll get a different answer depending on which side you ask.
+1
Level 42
Jul 21, 2017
I was about to write the same thing as well, true indeed. Same goes for the suicide rates.
+2
Level 65
Sep 2, 2021
"After all, a murderer is only an extroverted suicide" - Monty Python
+2
Level 50
Sep 7, 2019
I think you're probably right as well, but it is worth remembering that Namibia has a relatively small population, so this will affect the stats.
+1
Level 74
May 14, 2017
Wow!
+1
Level 69
Jul 21, 2017
Why so many murders in central America ? :O
+10
Level 46
Jul 21, 2017
Drugs?
+3
Level 72
Jul 21, 2017
Unfortunately, you're probably right in general. Latin American gangs are responsible for soooo many murders.
+4
Level 58
Jul 21, 2017
There's a pretty good correlation between high temperatures and murder rates.
+3
Level 71
Jul 22, 2017
I think it is more to do with lack of Law control, corruption, and failure of the authorities to punish the 'Top Cats' of drug production and distribution, poverty and unemployment, access to firearms, illiteracy and the Macho violence against women ...... just for starters.
+2
Level 66
Aug 29, 2017
High temperatures? What about Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam... India, Australia?
+4
Level 65
Sep 22, 2018
There may be a high correlation. This does not mean that the temperatures cause the murders.
+1
Level 73
Nov 18, 2018
A very wise observation, TWM03. There may, of course, be a third factor that is correlated with both. Suggestions, please....
+2
Level 65
Nov 23, 2018
Probably how rich the country is, I'm guessing. Hotter countries tend not to be in Europe, which is one of the richest parts of the world. As for why this would be true for other areas (i.e. the US and Canada are richer than Latin America, one of the most prosperous South American countries is Uruguay, etc.) I'm not sure. Maybe it's to do with how many people were in the places before colonisation versus how many colonists chose to stay there, being used to colder temperatures.
+1
Level 68
Aug 31, 2021
It's true that there's a correlation, but temperature alone doesn't explain it. Like vindem says, many South and Southeast Asian countries are very hot and humid and have much lower murder rates. Sure, they may be underreporting, but it's likely that these countries are underreporting as well.

Personally, I learned in a Psych class that income inequality is the biggest determinant of crime. As tshalla says above, murder rate rankings and GINI rankings are pretty similar.

+1
Level 55
Jul 21, 2017
Hot blood?
+1
Level 62
Jul 21, 2017
Go here for the opposite:

http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/229194/countries-with-the-lowest-homicide-rate

+8
Level 71
Jul 22, 2017
I thought for a moment it was going to be a ..... 'Numbers of Dead brought back to Life' quiz
+3
Level 75
Sep 18, 2019
Well, there'd be a big spike in Israel, circa 30 AD (according to certain sources), then pretty much it would flat line (!) until modern medicine and science started working their magic
+1
Level 70
Jul 21, 2017
For highest murder rates outside of Africa or the Americas, try http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/170770/highest-murder-rate-countries-with-exceptions
+1
Level 64
Jul 21, 2017
Try taking my quiz on cities with the highest murder rate:

http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/156455/cities-with-the-highest-homicide-rates.

+1
Level 66
Jul 21, 2017
well, these times i'm so "proud" of being a brazilian
+1
Level 44
Jul 24, 2017
All these Caribbean countries and I forget Africa oops c:
+3
Level 43
Aug 2, 2017
I see...countries with high levels of segregation
+9
Level 78
May 8, 2018
My experience with South and Central Americans has led me to believe that segregation and prejudice in those countries is more of an issue between the wealthy and the poor (it seems that most of them only have small middle class communities) than it is between races because most people are of mixed race. There are very few "pure" blood lines in any ethnicity. That has just been my experience. I don't claim to be any kind of authority on the subject. The poor are forced to take what they need in a system that is stacked against them and often it means resorting to violent measures.
+1
Level 56
Feb 19, 2018
Only 4 outside the Americas
+2
Level 76
Aug 7, 2018
The Caribbean has a surprisingly high murder rate. I knew Jamaica was really bad but I was surprised to see places like the Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis.
+1
Level 65
Sep 22, 2018
Um... Odd problem. The quiz description says upiogocfihcfuiduidudusuaeyalblhbolbhlbhl and the top three answers are sddjmdkda, sfa and Venezuelachdfhdf. I don't know what has caused this or if other people are seeing it but just thought I'd let you know @QM.
+1
Level 65
Sep 22, 2018
Also the column headers are arqrara, gsjjsjsf, and igigddgi.
+1
Level ∞
Sep 22, 2018
Weird! This has been fixed.
+1
Level 77
Sep 6, 2019
sddjmdkda is a good answer, it's a pity it's no longer accepted
+1
Level 65
Sep 6, 2019
The original name for sddjmdkda was Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, sddjmdkda Del Mundo.
+1
Level 83
Sep 6, 2019
I spent a summer in Venezuelachdfhdf once. It seemed perfectly safe.
+1
Level 32
Feb 15, 2019
So basically northern South America, southern North America (the countries with drug routes going through them), plus southern Africa. Gotcha.
+1
Level 49
Sep 11, 2019
These countries - the Latin American ones at least - also have some of the world's lowest suicide rates. It's an interesting contradiction, that less depressed people are more homicidal
+1
Level 71
Apr 4, 2019
Curse of the Caribbean...
+2
Level 63
Jul 10, 2020
Yep, the curse of being systematically looted for centuries.
+3
Level 38
Apr 29, 2019
Personally not a big fan of murder rates as a statistic for judging a country, especially if you have a country with a really small population. You could have one single murder and have the highest murder rate in the world for that year despite it being the first killing in that place for 10 years or something. These kind of figures also make some countries look incredibly dangerous but they don't take into account that a lot of the time it is gang related murders which tourists wouldn't necessarily get caught up in.
+1
Level 57
Aug 31, 2021
They averaged the murder rates for 10 years so the sample size is pretty decent. The bigger issue is that only reported homicides are counted, so the actual most dangerous countries are all absent from this list.
+2
Level 64
Jul 25, 2019
15/20 From Latinamerica & the caribbean! I thought Jamaican people were very chill! I don't understand this :S
+3
Level 62
Sep 6, 2019
We are. Unfortunately, gang violence is very high in the ghetto areas, and outside of the ghetto areas the murders we hear about the most are relationship related.
+3
Level 78
Jul 25, 2019
The Lesser Antilles nations and Tuvalu are very misleading. They are considerably safe, with very low murder counts, but the sheer lack of people in those countries drastically inflates those nations' homicide rates to unbelievable numbers.
+6
Level 85
Aug 27, 2019
But that's exactly the point of the "rate per 100,000 inhabitants". If you have a small population, 20 or 40 murders can be a lot. You'd only really have a valid argument for Tuvalu, which lands on this list with only 2 murders, which of course could be done in a single event by a single person and therefore skew the impression of relative safety. But St Lucia, for example, has only 165,000 people; 53 homicides is a LOT for that small of a place.
+4
Level 85
Jul 27, 2019
If you kill each other all the time, name your country after a saint.
+5
Level 71
Aug 8, 2019
One of the most interesting things I read that hadn’t even occurred to me was how much the state of trauma care in a country can skew results. For instance, you can get shot clean through the head in the US for instance and wind up making a full recovery because of the quality and availability of emergency medical care, but a schoolyard squabble in, say, Lesotho, might cause an infected puncture wound from a pencil that results in death. The caveats specifically say that the technical rate of homicides may not be an accurate indicator of a country’s general state of societal violence, although that’s usually what this data is used for.
+1
Level 62
Sep 6, 2019
Why Namibia?
+1
Level 75
Sep 6, 2019
Close to South Africa - cross-border organised crime. Also, hardly any people so high per-capita rate.
+2
Level ∞
Sep 6, 2019
Poor enough to have a violence problem. Rich enough to accurately record murders that take place.
+2
Level 62
Sep 8, 2019
Interesting. Of all the countries on this list, Namibia surprised me three most. I thought it was a pretty safe country but I guess not. I know next door Botswana is safer though.
+1
Level 63
Jul 10, 2020
Colonial genocides and present-day exploitation certainly play a role.
+1
Level 53
Sep 2, 2021
Namibia is very sparsely populated (only around 1M population) and manages its wildlife relatively well. This means that it has one of the largest rhino populations in Africa, which attracts international mafias that engage in poaching there. Therefore you get murders in exactly the same ways you'd expect to get around drug cartels in the Americas.

This obviously isn't the only reason, but it definitely contributes to the statistics.

+3
Level 55
Sep 6, 2019
The likes of Iraq/ Syria/ Somalia would dwarf the Central American countries in murder statistics - they're just too poverty ridden to have a system that records all the crimes.
+1
Level 83
Sep 29, 2019
They actually would not. Kind of puts it in to perspective just how bad things are in Central America when it's safer being in an anarchistic failed state or active war zone.
+1
Level 76
Nov 9, 2019
I'm pretty sure war deaths are not counted in the murder rate.
+2
Level 58
Sep 6, 2019
Interesting that about 60% of the people on this list were murdered in Brazil.
+2
Level 48
Sep 8, 2019
I missed Mexico, the most guessed one XD
+1
Level 56
Sep 9, 2019
Once the people from these places overrun the West, you will see the same nonsense wreck our societies, unfortunately, despite all the PC open borders idiocy.
+7
Level 75
Aug 27, 2021
what an appropriate user name
+1
Level 76
Nov 9, 2019
2 deaths in Tuvalu? I thought people there just slept in hammocks all day.
+1
Level 53
Jan 8, 2021
Murderers pushed them off the hammocks
+2
Level 57
Apr 25, 2020
Writing this from Namibia:)
+4
Level 63
Jul 10, 2020
Gee, it's almost like imperialism has a negative effect on the countries that it robs from.
+2
Level 52
Sep 9, 2020
Wow Tuvalu is really dangerous 2 murders is too much to handle for my pea sized brain
+1
Level 56
Aug 27, 2021
Just missed Namibia
+1
Level 62
Aug 31, 2021
So basically these countries are all either majority Black or Hispanic, the former of which being the majority. And before I have some social justice warriors respond here it's important to remember the difference between hate speech and fact and for one to make sure their emotions don't hijack their sense of logic.
+1
Level 57
Sep 3, 2021
Kind of sounds like you're making an emotional argument.

Yes it is a fact that these countries are made up of certain demographics.

Your comment seems to imply that black = murderer. But perhaps a more relevant metric might be poor = murderer.

+1
Level 48
Aug 31, 2021
Omg, I didn't expect I would score this quiz 100%. I got all the Central American countries at first then moved on to South Africa to try some luck, got the neighbouring countries too.

Then I tried Guyana and thought of the Caribbean countries. Super surprised that those island countries have such high murder rates. Why??

+1
Level 56
Aug 31, 2021
If Chicago was a country it'd be #1
+2
Level 68
Aug 31, 2021
Chicago Murder Rate: 20.7

Might want to check your sources before jumping to conclusions

+1
Level 55
Sep 2, 2021
Stil enough to be on the list. Honestly surprising.
+1
Level 57
Sep 3, 2021
Yeah still embarrassing that it's so high.
+1
Level 83
Sep 5, 2021
For a city (generally much more densely populated than an entire country; with much higher concentration of poverty and crime), that's not even that bad. For example, the rate in Tijuana is 134, in Cape Town it's 68, and in St Louis it's 65. Chicago would not make a top 50 list of world cities by murder rate.

But it's a Republican talking point that Chicago is a warzone, and also that California is an unlivable s*hole, and so these things get repeated online a lot, confusing everyone who actually lives either place.

+1
Level 21
Sep 1, 2021
bahamas?

...