The Top 5 World Regions with the Most Homicides

  Region Number of Homicides Global Percentage
1 Africa 170,000 36%
2 Americas 144,000 31%
3 Asia 128,000 27%
4 Europe 25,000 5%
5 Oceania 1,200 < 1%
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  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. 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.)
  3. Some 80 countries (approximately 40 per cent of the total) show low homicide rates of less than 3 homicides per 100,000 population per year, a third of which show rates of under 1 homicide per 100,000. In contrast, 35 countries (approximately 17 per cent of the total) show high homicide rates of more than 20 homicides per 100,000 population, some going beyond 50 and others as high as 80 per 100,000 population. The remainder (44 per cent of the total) show medium homicide rates between 3 and 20 per 100,000 population. (a.)
  4. The homicide rate in the Americas is, at 15.6 per 100,000, more than double the world average, while, at 17.4 per 100,000, Africa has the highest rate among all regions, although it also has the largest uncertainty range due to large discrepancies between criminal justice and public health data. Whilst a lowest possible estimate would place Africa within the range of the world average, on the basis of available data, it can be estimated that the region sits at a level somewhere above, rather than below, the global average. Asia falls between 2.4 and 4.3 per 100,000, and both Europe and Oceania also fall below the global average at 3.5 per 100,000, respectively. (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: Top 5 Most, Africa, Crime & Punishment Statistics

Sources:  UNODC Global Study on Homocide 2011.

List Notes: Data is total number of intentional homicides by region for 2010 or latest available year. 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.
World Regions with the Most Homicides

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