The Top 5 Countries with the Highest Murder Rates

  Country Murder Rate
(per 100,000)
1 Honduras 82.1 per 100,000
2 El Salvador 66.0 per 100,000
3 Gambia 56.9 per 100,000
4 Côte d'Ivoire 56.9 per 100,000
5 Jamaica 52.1 per 100,000
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 Facts
  1. Globally, the UNODC estimates that the total number of annual homicides in 2010 was 468,000. The total number of 468,000 homicides worldwide results in a global average homicide rate of 6.9 per 100,000 population. (a.)
  2. 42% of global homicides are committed by firearm. Homicides in the Americas are more than three and a half times as likely to be perpetrated with a firearm than in Europe (74 per cent vs. 21 per cent), whereas sharp objects are more than twice as likely to be murder weapons in Europe, where they predominate, than in the Americas (36 per cent vs. 16 per cent). The role played by firearms in homicide is fundamental and, while the specific relationship between firearm availability and homicide is complex, it appears that a vicious circle connects firearm availability and higher homicide levels. (a.)
  3. In the Americas, more than 25 per cent of homicides are related to organized crime and the activities of criminal gangs, while the same is only true of some 5 per cent of homicides in the Asian and European countries for which data are available. This does not mean, however, that organized criminal groups are not as active in those two regions, but rather that they may resort to means other than visible extreme violence in the pursuit of their illicit activities. (a.)
  4. Women make up the majority of victims of intimate partner/family-related homicide, but the bigger picture reveals that men are those most often involved in homicide in general, accounting for some 80 per cent of homicide victims and perpetrators. Data from the United States of America indicate that the typical homicide pattern is a man killing another man (69 per cent of cases), while in less than 3 per cent of cases a woman murders another woman. This translates into a much higher risk of men being murdered than women, with global homicide rates of 11.9 and 2.6 per 100,000, respectively. In many countries the home is the place where a woman is most likely to be murdered, whereas men are more likely to be murdered in the street.(a.) (a.)
  5. There are many reasons why people kill each other and multiple driving forces often interact when they do, but homicide levels and trends indicate that the link between homicide and development is one of the clearest. Higher levels of homicide are associated with low human and economic development. The largest shares of homicides occur in countries with low levels of human development, and countries with high levels of income inequality are afflicted by homicide rates almost four times higher than more equal societies. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. UNODC. Global Study on Homicide. 2011. Retrieved May, 2012.
Tags: Death Statistics, Top 5 Highest, Crime & Punishment Statistics, South America

Sources:  UNODC Global Study on Homocide 2011.

List Notes: Data is intentional homicide rate for the year 2010 per 100,000 population for 198 countries/territories. Intentional homicide is defined as unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person. Sources used include both criminal justice and public health statistics.
Countries with the Highest Murder Rates

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