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Murder Rate by Country

Murder Rate by Country

Global Rates of Homicide

In a world of social complexities and varying cultures, understanding the concept of crime, specifically murder, becomes all the more relevant. Murder rate, reflective of a nation's overall safety, is a critical data point. The murder rate is usually calculated per 100,000 inhabitants, which enables cross-country comparisons, as the actual number of homicides is heavily influenced by the population size.

Given this understanding, we focus our attention on the United States' position in the global spectrum of crime. In this article, we will walk through significant statistics on murder rates, tracing the most and least affected countries to present a holistic view of the crime landscape.

Key findings from the data reveal:

  • Topped by El Salvador (52.02), countries such as Jamaica (43.85), Lesotho (43.56), and Honduras (38.93), have the highest number of murders per 100,000 people, showcasing a distinctive crime problem. Countries on the upper end of the spectrum are primarily clustered in Latin and South America and Africa.
  • Contrastingly, countries like Japan (0.26), Singapore (0.16), Isle Of Man (0.00), Andorra (0.00), Monaco (0.00), and San Marino (0.00) have the lowest recorded homicide rates, underscoring their relative safety.
  • Now focusing on United States, it has a homicide rate of 4.96 per 100,000 people, which is significantly lower than the countries with the highest rates but much higher compared to countries on the safer end of the spectrum. 
  • Countries like Iceland (0.89), New Zealand (0.74) and Switzerland (0.59) with relatively strong socio-economic growth show lower homicide rates, suggesting factors such as economic prosperity and strong law enforcement could contribute to decreased crime rates.
  • Lastly, homicide rates in any country can be influenced by factors beyond law enforcement, such as the nation's socioeconomic condition, governance, and the culture of violence.

Through a deep dive into these numbers, one can start understanding the intricate tapestry of crime factors—probing why certain societies manage to enforce peace better than others and the global fight against crime. Learning from other nations' experiences can provide insights into managing and overcoming crime, leading to safer societies.

Countries With Highest Murder Rates

The ten countries with the highest murder rates are El Salvador, Jamaica, Lesotho, Honduras, Belize, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Nigeria. 

Topping the list with an alarming homicide rate of 52.02 per 100,000 people is El Salvador. Jamaica holds the second rank with an average murder rate of 43.85 while Lesotho almost matches Jamaica with its rate of 43.56. Honduras has the fourth highest murder rate with 38.93, closely followed by Belize with 37.79. 

In Venezuela, the murder rate is reported to be 36.69. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines follows with a murder rate of 36.54 and South Africa's rate is tagged at 36.40. Saint Kitts and Nevis has a murder rate of 36.09 per 100,000 people, and Nigeria completes the top ten list with a murder rate of 34.52.

10 Countries with the Highest Murder Rates per 100k people:

  1. El Salvador - 52.02
  2. Jamaica - 43.85
  3. Lesotho -  43.56
  4. Honduras - 38.93
  5. Belize - 37.79
  6. Venezuela - 36.69
  7. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 36.54
  8. South Africa - 36.40
  9. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 36.09
  10. Nigeria - 34.52

Countries With Lowest Murder Rates

The countries with the lowest homicide rates per 100,000 people are San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, Isle of Man, Singapore, Japan, Senegal, Oman, Luxembourg, and Qatar. San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, and the Isle of Man are four nations that report an exceptionally low murder rate, with no homicides recorded, this places them at a median homicide rate of 0.00 per 100,000 inhabitants. Coming at fifth is Singapore, a city-state known for its strict laws and low crime rate, having an average homicide rate of 0.16 per 100,000 people.

Japan, known for its culture of respect and low crime rate, has the sixth-lowest homicide rate in the world with 0.26 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. Senegal and Oman, both maintain a similar murder rate of 0.27 per 100,000 people. Next is Luxembourg with a homicide rate of 0.34 murders per 100,000 people. Lastly, despite being in a region generally considered for its instability, Qatar reports a low homicide rate of 0.37 per 100,000 people.

The ten countries with the lowest homicide rates per 100K:

  1. San Marino - 0.00 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  2. Monaco - 0.00 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  3. Andorra - 0.00 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  4. Isle of Man - 0.00 (Homicide Rate per 100K)
  5. Singapore - 0.16 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  6. Japan - 0.26 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  7. Senegal - 0.27 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  8. Oman - 0.27 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  9. Luxembourg - 0.34 (Homicide Rate per 100k)
  10. Qatar - 0.37 (Homicide Rate per 100k)

By Country

Full Data Set

To sort the data in the table, click on the column headers.

Frequently Asked Questions


Number of Homicides

Source:  Intentional homicides - UNODC

Homicide Rate (per 100,000 people)

Source: Intentional homicides- UNODC

State Name

Sample Content
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