Violent Crimes by Country

Violent Crime Rate by Country in 2023

Rate of Incidents

Understanding violent crime rates is an essential aspect of making informed decisions and ensuring a secure and enjoyable time in your destination. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide on “Violent Crimes by Country” – a valuable resource for anyone looking to expand their horizons while staying safe.

Discover the countries with the highest and lowest violent crime rates and gain insights into regional trends and differences. From adventurous entrepreneurs to seasoned globetrotters, this comprehensive guide will empower you to explore the world safely.

Challenges in Comparing Violent Crime Statistics

Comparing violent crime statistics between different countries can be complex. The primary challenge lies in the fact that “violent crime” encompasses a wide variety of offenses, and each country may have its own set of included crimes, definitions, and methods for reporting and recording these incidents.

For instance, some countries might classify arson as a violent crime, while others do not. The ease of reporting violent crimes can also vary, with certain offenses, such as rape, often going unreported in some societies. Definitions of crimes can differ across countries, making direct comparisons difficult. Furthermore, some countries may have thorough procedures for tracking crime statistics and providing annual updates, while others may not.

These discrepancies make it difficult to obtain reliable, all-encompassing global violent crime statistics. However, by focusing on specific types of violent crimes—such as murder rates by country—data becomes more reliable and useful, though still not without limitations.

10 Countries with the Highest Violent Crime Rates

As we journey through the world, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with certain destinations. The following ten countries have been identified as having the highest violent crime rates globally. While these statistics don’t mean that every traveler will face danger, being mindful of the risks can contribute to a safer experience.

* Numbers next to the countries indicate the # of incidents per 100,000 people

Nigeria Flag 10. Nigeria

#10 in Highest Violent Crimes

Nigeria grapples with a multitude of challenges, including widespread corruption, political instability, and a struggling economy. These factors contribute to a high rate of violent crime. Travelers should exercise caution, particularly in regions affected by terrorism and civil unrest.

# of Incidents

St Kitts and Nevis Flag 9. Saint Kitts and Nevis

#9 in Highest Violent Crimes

This small Caribbean nation is known for its beautiful beaches and idyllic landscape, but it also faces issues with gang-related violence and drug trafficking. Tourists should stay vigilant, especially in less developed areas, and adhere to local safety recommendations.

# of Incidents

South Africa Flag 8. South Africa

#8 in Highest Violent Crimes
South Africa's diverse landscape and rich cultural history attract many visitors, but the nation still contends with elevated crime rates. While tourist areas are generally safe, visitors should remain aware of their surroundings and follow local advice on crime hotspots to avoid.
Cape Town
# of Incidents

St. Vincent Grenadines 7. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

#7 in Highest Violent Crimes

This island paradise in the Caribbean is not immune to crime. High unemployment rates and limited economic opportunities contribute to instances of violent crime. Visitors should remain vigilant and follow local guidance to stay safe.

# of Incidents

Venezuela Flag 6. Venezuela

#6 in Highest Violent Crimes

Venezuela's political and economic crises have led to increased crime rates in recent years. Travelers should stay informed about the current situation, avoid high-risk areas, and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety while visiting.

Central America
# of Incidents

Belize Flag 5. Belize

#5 in Highest Violent Crimes

Despite its reputation as a tropical haven, Belize faces challenges with gang violence and drug trafficking. Tourists are encouraged to exercise caution, particularly in urban centers, and follow local safety advice during their stay.

Central America
# of Incidents
Honduras Crime

Honduras Flag 4. Honduras

#4 in Highest Violent Crimes

Honduras, known for its beautiful natural attractions, also grapples with gang violence and high crime rates. Travelers should remain aware of their surroundings, avoid high-risk areas, and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe trip.

Central America
# of Incidents

3. Lesotho

#3 in Highest Violent Crimes
Nestled within South Africa, the small kingdom of Lesotho experiences elevated violent crime rates driven by poverty and political instability. Visitors should stay informed about the local situation, take appropriate safety measures, and avoid high-risk areas
# of Incidents

Jamaica Flag 2. Jamaica

#2 in Highest Violent Crimes

Jamaica's stunning beaches and vibrant culture draw numerous tourists, but the island nation faces ongoing challenges with gang-related violence and crime. Visitors should exercise caution, particularly in Kingston and Montego Bay, and adhere to local safety recommendations.

# of Incidents
El Salvador Crime

El Salvador Flag 1. El Salvador

#1 in Highest Violent Crimes

ITopping the list, El Salvador struggles with gang violence and high levels of crime. While the government has made efforts to reduce crime rates, travelers should remain vigilant and follow local advice to ensure their safety during their visit.

Central America
San Salvador
# of Incidents

Travel Safety and Violent Crime

How to assess the risk of violent crime in your destination

To assess the risk of violent crime in your destination, begin by researching crime rates, regional trends, and factors that influence crime. Consult reputable sources, such as government reports, international organizations, and local news outlets. Also, consider reaching out to fellow travelers or expats who have firsthand experience in the area, as their insights can provide valuable context.

Safe travel practices and precautions

Staying safe while traveling starts with adopting smart precautions. Here are some tips to minimize your risk:

  • Stay informed about local crime trends and high-risk areas.
  • Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
  • Keep your belongings secure and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
  • Practice situational awareness and trust your instincts.
  • Familiarize yourself with local customs and avoid inadvertently offending locals.
  • Register with your country’s embassy or consulate when traveling to high-risk destinations.

Resources for staying informed about local crime rates

Knowledge is power when it comes to staying safe on your travels. Some resources for staying informed about local crime rates include:

  • Government travel advisories and websites
  • International organizations, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Local news outlets and crime reporting websites
  • Online forums and social media groups for expats and travelers
  • Personal connections, such as fellow digital nomads or local acquaintances

Crime Rates: Contributing Factors and Calculation

The crime rate of a country is calculated by dividing the total number of reported crimes by the population of the country, usually expressed per 100,000 people, providing a standardized measurement that allows for a comparison of crime rates between countries and over time.

Several factors contribute to the crime rate of a country. Some of the main factors include:

  • Socioeconomic conditions: Poverty, unemployment, and inequality are often associated with higher crime rates, as people may turn to criminal activity as a means of survival.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse: Substance abuse can lead to impaired judgment and violent behavior, and hence, causes an increase in the risk of criminal activity.
  • Demographics: Certain demographic factors, such as age and gender, can affect crime rates. For example, young men are more likely to engage in criminal activity than other groups.
  • Policing and law enforcement: The presence and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies can influence crime rates. Countries with well-resourced and well-trained police forces are often associated with lower crime rates.
  • Social norms and values: A society’s attitudes towards crime and punishment can also impact crime rates. Countries that promote a culture of respect for the law and social responsibility are likely to have lower crime rates.

Overall, the crime rate of a country is determined by a complex interplay of social, economic, cultural, and political factors. Understanding and addressing these factors can help to reduce crime rates and promote safety and security.

Living Abroad and Violent Crime

Factors to consider when choosing a country to live in

When selecting a country to live in, consider factors like crime rates, political stability, economic conditions, and cultural compatibility. Research local laws, visa requirements, and social customs to ensure a smooth transition to your new home. Additionally, evaluate the quality of life, including healthcare, education, and infrastructure, to make an informed decision.

Adapting to local customs and practices to stay safe

Adapting to local customs and practices is not only a sign of respect but also a means of staying safe in your new environment. Familiarize yourself with cultural norms and etiquette to avoid inadvertently offending locals or attracting unwanted attention. Also, be mindful of local dress codes and communication styles to blend in and establish rapport with the community. When in doubt, observe how locals interact and behave, and follow their lead.

Importance of building a local support network

Creating a local support network can be invaluable for your safety and well-being when living abroad. Forge connections with fellow expats, neighbors, and coworkers to establish a sense of community and share valuable insights about navigating daily life. These relationships can also serve as an essential resource during emergencies or challenging situations, providing you with assistance, guidance, and reassurance.

Insurance and Financial Planning

Importance of travel insurance in high-crime areas

Travel insurance is a crucial safety net when venturing to high-crime areas. Comprehensive policies can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Before embarking on your journey, research and compare different travel insurance options to find the best fit for your needs. Ensure that the policy you choose offers adequate protection for your destination, and always read the fine print to understand the terms and conditions.

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Financial considerations for living in a country with high violent crime rates

Living in a country with high violent crime rates may require additional financial planning and precautions. Consider the potential cost of increased security measures, such as secure housing and personal protection devices. Additionally, factor in the potential for higher insurance premiums and the financial implications of needing to leave the country unexpectedly due to safety concerns. Budget accordingly to ensure you’re prepared for any challenges that may arise.

Tips for securing your finances while traveling or living abroad

Keeping your finances secure while traveling or living abroad is crucial for maintaining peace of mind and reducing the risk of theft or fraud. Follow these tips to protect your financial assets:

  • Diversify your financial resources by using a combination of credit cards, debit cards, and cash.
  • Keep your cards and cash in separate locations to minimize the impact of theft or loss.
  • Utilize travel-friendly financial products with low fees and robust security features.
  • Regularly monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements for suspicious activity.
  • Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks, as they can be vulnerable to hacking and data theft.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Homicide Rates

* Incidents per 100,000 people 

#10 Saint Kitts and Nevis – 36.09:

This Caribbean paradise faces challenges with violent crime, driven primarily by gang-related activities.

#9 South Africa – 36.40:

South Africa’s diverse landscape is marred by elevated crime rates, often concentrated in urban areas.

#8 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 36.54: 

High unemployment rates contribute to the crime levels in this otherwise picturesque Caribbean nation.

#7 Venezuela – 36.69: 

Political and economic turmoil has led to increased crime rates in Venezuela, making safety a concern for visitors.

#6 Belize – 37.79: 

Despite its tropical allure, Belize struggles with gang violence and drug trafficking, impacting its overall safety.

#5 Honduras – 38.93: 

Beautiful natural attractions contrast with Honduras’ high crime rates, fueled primarily by gang activities.

#4 Lesotho – 43.56: 

This small African kingdom grapples with violent crime, influenced by poverty and political instability.

#3 Jamaica – 43.85: 

Jamaica’s vibrant culture and stunning beaches coexist with challenges related to gang violence and crime.

#2 U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S. territory) – 49.28: 

This popular tourist destination also contends with a high level of violent crime, calling for vigilance from visitors.

#1 El Salvador – 52.02: 

Topping the list, El Salvador’s ongoing battle against gang violence has led to the highest violent crime rate among these countries.

Top 10 countries with the lowest violent crime rates


On the other end of the spectrum, several countries stand out for their exceptionally low violent crime rates. These destinations are often regarded as safe havens for digital nomads and travelers who prioritize personal security.



Crime Score


Vatican City



San Marino









Isle of Man






Ivory Coast











Regional trends and differences

When assessing violent crime rates, it’s important to consider regional trends and differences. Some areas may experience higher crime rates due to socio-economic, political, or cultural factors. Additionally, certain regions may have more effective law enforcement and crime prevention strategies in place, resulting in lower crime rates. By understanding these trends and patterns, you can better plan your travels and minimize potential risks.

Safest Countries: Top 20 Countries with Lowest Crime Rates

Rank Country Score Change
1 Iceland 1.107
2 New Zealand 1.269
3 Ireland 1.288 +3
4 Denmark 1.296 -1
5 Austria 1.3 +2
6 Portugal 1.301 -1
7 Slovenia 1.316 -3
8 Czech Rep. 1.318 +1
9 Singapore 1.326 +1
10 Japan 1.336 +1
11 Switzerland 1.357 +1
12 Canada 1.389 -4
13 Hungary 1.411 +2
14 Finland 1.439 -1
15 Croatia 1.44 -1
16 Germany 1.462 +3
17 Norway 1.465
18 Malaysia 1.471 +4
19 Bhutan 1.481 -3
20 Slovakia 1.499 +5

The Verdict

In today’s globalized world, opportunities for travel and living abroad abound. However, it’s crucial to make informed decisions about your destination, taking into account factors such as violent crime rates, cultural compatibility, and financial considerations. By researching, planning, and preparing for potential challenges, you can create a fulfilling and safe experience wherever your journey takes you.

No matter where you roam, staying safe and adapting to local conditions is essential for a successful adventure. Build a strong support network, respect local customs, and invest in the right insurance and financial planning to minimize risks. Ultimately, being proactive and adaptable will empower you to confidently navigate the world, seize opportunities, and live life to the fullest.

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