Violent crime is a harrowing reality but it’s not just a South African problem… it’s a global issue and apparently there are cities globally with far worse crime statistics than Johannesburg.


Recently World Atlas published a list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world, and Johannesburg doesn’t feature at all. According to the list, it is safer to live in Johannesburg than in Baltimore, New Orleans or Detroit in America.

Only three cities in South Africa made the list: Cape Town at number 15 (62.25), Durban at number 44 (38.12), and Nelson Mandela Bay at number 46 (37.53). South Africa, which inhabits the southernmost point of the massive African continent, has often garnered publicity for its high crime rates, including murder rates. Factors such as high unemployment and systemic racism have all been blamed for the violent trends in South African cities.

But the list shows a stark reality where the majority of the most dangerous cities in the world are in North and South America.

Los Cabos, Mexico tops the list as the most dangerous city in the world with a murder rate of 111.33 per 100,000 people. This city’s position on the list of the world’s most dangerous cities is indicative of the increase in crime that Mexico has experienced over the last year.

In 2017 and 2018, the resort town of Los Cabos has made headlines news for a string of alarming murders. The majority of the violence in Los Cabos has mostly been related to the drug trade, and tourists have not been the target. Nonetheless, the instances of violence are still drastic, and have earned the popular vacation destination a spot on the top of the list of the world’s most dangerous cities.

The list also features four major cities in the United States that are counted the among the world’s most dangerous.

The cities are, in descending order of homicide rates, St. Louis, Missouri is at number 13 (65.83), Baltimore, Maryland is at number 21 (55.48), New Orleans, Louisiana is at number 41 (40.10) and Detroit, Michigan at number 42 (39.69).

In the United States, the relaxed laws surrounding gun ownership is often subject of much debate and it’s this gun violence that is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths nationwide annually.

Of the 50 cities in the ranking, 17 are located in Brazil (down from 19 in 2016), 12 in Mexico (up from 8), 5 in Venezuela (down from 7), 4 in the United States, 3 in Colombia (down from 4), 3 in South Africa, and 2 in Honduras, and 1 each in El Salvador, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

Below is the top ten on the list:

  • 10. Belem, Brazil, had 71.38 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 9. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela, had 80.28 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 8. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, had 83.32 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 7. Fortaleza, Brazil, had 83.48 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 6. La Paz, Mexico, had 84.79 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 5. Tijuana, Mexico, had 100.77 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 4. Natal, Brazil, had 102.56 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 3. Acapulco, Mexico, had 106.63 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 2. Caracas, Venezuela, had 111.19 homicides per 100,000 residents.
  • 1. Los Cabos, Mexico, had 111.33 homicides per 100,000 residents.

Sources: World Atlas
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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