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Stabbing Deaths by Country

Stabbing Deaths by Country


Knives and other sharp objects were the weapon of choice in 97,183 homicides in 2017, representing a devastating 22% of global homicides, as per the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime's 2019 Global Study on Homicide. This statistic lays bare the multifaceted nature of the global homicide landscape, with the choice of weapon varying significantly from region to region. Irrespective of the socio-economic status, geopolitical location, or overall safety ranking of a given country, the frequency of knife-related violence emerges as a common bane affecting all regions.

Key findings from the data include:

  • The countries with the highest rates of stabbing deaths per 100k people are predominantly located in Africa. South Africa tops the list with a rate of 16.95, followed closely by Lesotho with 16.38, Eswatini with 9.31, Botswana with 8.88, and Namibia with 8.08.
  • Although high rates of stabbing mortality are primarily observed in African and South American nations, countries like Russia and Honduras also show relatively high rates (6.66 for Honduras, 4.32 for Russia).
  • In contrast, there are countries with significantly lower rates of stabbing deaths. Specifically, the United Kingdom and Japan boast some of the lowest rates globally, with 0.08 and 0.09, respectively.
  • While the South-East Asian region shows a relatively low stabbing mortality rate, outliers like the Philippines report an alarming rate of 4.9. This disparity indicates the impact of varied sociopolitical dynamics within a region. 
  • Interestingly, despite its high rate of violent gun crime, the United States reports a comparatively moderate rate of stabbing deaths (0.6). This figure contrasts sharply with the gun-related deaths and underscores the country's unique and controversial relationship with firearms.

Countries with the Most Stabbing Deaths

When it comes to countries with the highest incidence of stabbing deaths, South Africa tops the list with a disturbingly high stabbing mortality rate of 16.95 per 100,000 people. Lesotho follows closely behind with a stabbing mortality rate of 16.38 per 100,000 people. The third position is held by Eswatini, reporting a stabbing mortality rate of 9.31 per 100,000 individuals.

Furthermore, Botswana and Namibia, also African countries, feature respectively on this list with 8.88 and 8.08 deaths per 100,000 people due to stabbings. This data further underscores the overall elevated stabbing death rates within the African continent.

However, the data also highlights the fact that such tragedies are not isolated to Africa. For instance, Belize, located in Central America, has a rate of 7.35. Likewise, the Caribbean nation of Haiti also reports an unsettling rate of 7.14. Honduras tallies a slightly lower stabbing mortality rate of approximately 6.66 per 100,000 people and is another Central American country dealing with this issue.

Colombia, the only South American country featured in these rankings, holds a stabbing mortality rate of 6.55 per 100,000 people. In tenth place, we have Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with a rate of 6.54, laying down a grim picture of the issue's prevalence within the small island nation.

Countries with the Most Stabbing Deaths (per 100k deaths):

  1. South Africa - 16.95
  2. Lesotho - 16.38
  3. Eswatini - 9.31
  4. Botswana - 8.88
  5. Namibia - 8.08
  6. Belize - 7.35
  7. Haiti - 7.14
  8. Honduras - 6.66
  9. Colombia - 6.55
  10. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 6.54

By Country

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