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Most Dangerous Cities in the World


What makes a city dangerous?

Before we get to the list, let’s discuss briefly what makes a city dangerous; it’s more complicated than you might imagine. Numerous acts of violence and crime, such as rape, murder, and kidnapping, can make a city dangerous for residents and visitors. These are the most probable threats to regional peace. Crime dramas may be captivating on television, but they are not nearly as pitiful in reality.

You should know these dangers if you travel to the most dangerous cities globally. So, it would be best if you took safety precautions. You could, for example, alter your business meeting or family holiday or use a protected vehicle when traveling to these cities.

Facts about the most dangerous cities:

  • 22 South American cities out of 50 cities
  • 19 North American cities out of 50 cities
  • Mexico(15 cities), Brazil (14 cities), Venezuela(6 Cities), South Africa(3 cities) ranked on this survey.
  • 4 US cities (St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit New Orleans) have been placed on this survey.

What are the top 15 dangerous cities in the world?

According to a report by Statista, the following are the top 15 dangerous cities as of 2022:

1. Tijuana, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 138

• Population: 2,070,875

Tijuana is the fifth-largest city in Mexico and the 45th-largest city in the Americas. It has more people than any other city in Mexico. However, the city has been considered the most dangerous in the world. Every day, approximately seven individuals are murdered in this city. This city is renowned for its extreme poverty and severe crimes like rape, murder, and kidnapping.

Why is Tijuana a most dangerous city? 

Human trafficking and drug trafficking by organizations are the primary causes. A conflict between the cartels of Sinaloa and Tijuana is another cause. These cities’ renowned safest neighborhoods are Zona Rio and Playas de Tijuana.

2. Acapulco, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 110.5

• Population: 782,661

Acapulco is a city and significant port on the Pacific Coast of Guerrero, Mexico. It is considered the second most dangerous city on the globe. This city was once a playground for Hollywood elites, but the drug conflict is now occurring throughout the entire city. This city’s hillside communities are strongholds for gangs such as 221 or Los Locos, notorious for abduction, murder, extortion, and carjacking. The main reason for the collapse of the tourism industry is the persistent violence, which both locals and tourists find horrifying.

This city was once a renowned tourist destination, but due to drug gang violence and the highest murder rate since 2014, it no longer attracts many international visitors. To visit this city safely, you should therefore travel in a secure vehicle.

3. Caracas, Venezuela

• Murder rate per 100,000: 99.98

• Population: 2,957,000

Caracas, Venezuela’s largest city and capital, is on the northern side of the Guaire River.

Why is Caracas a most dangerous city?

The primary causes are the city’s high crime rate, the severe economic crisis, political turmoil, poverty, unemployment, many drug gangs, and inadequate law enforcement. Due to elevated crime rates, the Venezuelan government has imposed travel restrictions on foreigners in Caracas.

4. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 86.01

• Population: 374,000

Ciudad Victoria is the capital city of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It is located in the Oriental Sierra Madre in northeastern Mexico. The city is the 3rd most dangerous in Mexico. These homicides resulted from gunfights between criminal gangs and the police in the town. Additionally, it occurs due to gunfights between rival drug organizations and prison violence.

5. Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 85.56

• Population: 1,527,482

Cuidad Juarez is renowned for its nightclubs and boisterous musical entertainment. However, owing to the city’s high crime rate, tourism has vanished.

It is considered the worst city in Mexico for women. However, violence does not explicitly target American citizens. In carjacking, theft, robbery, burglary, or homicide, travelers must be extremely cautious and vigilant. Instead of relying solely on the police, you should avoid inconvenience by traveling in a bullet-resistant vehicle.

6. Irapuato, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 81.44

• Population: 874,997

Irapuato is the fifth most dangerous city in Mexico. It is in the middle of the state of Guanajuato and is known for its beautiful gardens. The number of kidnappings and criminal gang extortions in Irapuato has increased. The violence is happening because the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel and the Jalisco Cartel are fighting over territory. Local police gave this problem to the federal government to handle. But so far, the federal government hasn’t been able to stop this violence.

7. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela

• Murder rate per 100,000: 78.3

• Population: 950,000

Ciudad Guayana, a port community on the Orinoco River, is Venezuela’s second most dangerous city. The high rate of murders and other violent crimes is one of the major problems in Venezuela.

Why is Ciudad Guayana a most dangerous city? 

The primary causes are organized gangs and economic turmoil. During Venezuela’s decades-long and deteriorating financial and security crisis, the region’s cities face food shortages and high crime rates, just like the rest of the nation. Due to the high incidence of violent crimes such as rape, murder, and sexual assault, visitors to the city should exercise extreme caution.

8. Natal, Brazil

• Murder rate per 100,000: 74.67

• Population: 1,262,741

Rio Grande do Norte is Brazil’s second-largest oil-producing state, and Natal is its capital and largest city. This city has a murder rate of 74.67 per 100,000 people, even though it remains a popular tourist destination. Poverty and conflict between gangs and prisoners are the primary causes of the high crime rate.

9. Fortaleza, Brazil

• Murder rate per 100,000: 69.15

• Population: 3,936,509

Fortaleza is Brazil’s second most dangerous city, with 69 murders per 100,000 people. It is close to well-known tourist destinations such as Lencois Maranhenses National Park and Jericoacoara Beach. Unfortunately, their attractiveness is overshadowed by violent crimes. Therefore, you should be especially careful when exploring this city.

10. Cape Town, South Africa

• Murder rate per 100,000: 66.36

• Population: 4,758,405

Cape Town is a beautiful port city on the southwest coast of South Africa. It is known for being Nelson Mandela’s hometown. It is the only South African city in the top 15. Unfortunately, it is one of the most dangerous places in the world and has the highest murder rate in South Africa.

11. Belém, Brazil

• Murder rate per 100,000: 65

• Population: 2,385,000

Belem is the third most dangerous city in Brazil. It is a port city on the Amazon River. The drug trade is likely to happen in this area because it is so poor, and people need money so badly to stay alive. The city has a murder rate of 65 per 100,000 people, which is frustrating. Militia gangs, mainly composed of former police officers out of work, are a big reason for this number. These militia gangs are responsible for a lot of murders, and the gangs that the militia is trying to catch are becoming more and more dangerous.

People should avoid the back streets, especially if they wear jewelry that makes them look like targets. But the city has a lot going on at night and is mostly safe and even friendly in some places.

12. Cancún, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 64.47

• Population: 920,865

Cancun is a city in Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula. It is close to the Caribbean Sea and is renowned for its beaches, resorts, and nightlife. But violent crime is still a massive problem in the area.

Most of the violence has been caused by fights between gangs and drug dealers. Visitors should avoid the back streets, especially if they wear jewelry that makes them easy targets. But the city has a lot going on at night and is mostly safe and even friendly in some places.

13. Feira de Santana, Brazil

• Murder rate per 100,000: 63.29

• Population: 652,592

The city of Feira de Santana in Bahia, Brazil, is a center for business and farming, but it has little to offer tourists. Nevertheless, it has the second most people in any city in the state.

Why is Feira de Santana a most dangerous city? 

Because the city is full of legal businesses and dangerous gangs that sell drugs, it is a significant business hub for the state of Bahia, making it an ideal place for moving drugs around the region. Most crimes are muggings, selling and using drugs, assault, car theft, and taking things from cars. As a result, there is a lot of crime in the city, and 63.29 people are killed for every 100,000 living there.

14. St. Louis, USA

Murder rate per 100,000: 60.59

Population: 293,310

St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri, USA, and is a busy industrial city. Since 2014, it has been called the murder capital of the United States. It is the only city on this list of the top 15 in the United States.

Why is St. Louis a most dangerous city? 

Because there are the most crimes and murders in the city, the most crime here is related to drugs. Poverty is linked to drug sales, a big mess that the city government can’t fix. People get violent because of low wages, high unemployment, heavy drug use, the relationship breakdown of the family, and traditional moral standards.

15. Culiacán, Mexico

• Murder rate per 100,000: 60.52

• Population: 1,036,119

Sinaloa’s capital and biggest city, Culiacan, has been known as a place where drug gangs meet and do business. Most of the crime here is between members of different gangs and the police. But it is common for people from the public to get caught in the crossfire. Culiacán struggles to control drug gang gun violence, just like other cities in Mexico’s northwest and border areas. Recently, there has been only a tiny drop in the number of people murdered. Tourists are usually told to stay away at all costs because the security is so bad.

Here is a list of the Most Dangerous Cities in the world

CityCountryMurder Rate Per 100,000 Inhabitants
Ciudad VictoriaMexico86.01
Ciudad JuarezMexico85.56
Ciudad GuayanaVenezuela78.3
Cape TownSouth Africa66.36
Feira De SantanaBrazil63.29
St. LouisU.S.60.59
Ciudad BolivarVenezuela60.09
Ciudad ObregonMexico52.09
Victoria da ConquistaBrazil50.75
San SalvadorEl Salvador50.32
San Pedro SulaHonduras46.67
Campos dos GoytacazesBrazil46.28
Guatemala CityGuatemala43.73
San JuanPuerto Rico42.36
Joao PessoaBrazil41.36
Nelson Madela BaySouth Africa39.15
DurbanSouth Africa38.51
New OrleansU.S.36.86

In conclusion, a city doesn’t show how a whole country is, and just because a city is dangerous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit the entire country. Also, crime is spread out in different ways all over a city. Some parts of a city may be safe, while others may be riskier.

Read More Most Expensive & Cheapest Cities in the World

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