CRIME-RIDDEN: CAPE TOWN is one of the Most Violent Cities in the World - Stats


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3 months ago

Cape Town has continued to improve its position on the global ranking of the 50 most violent cities in the world – despite an increase in the city’s murder rate.

Still the most violent city in South Africa, Cape Town now ranks 15th on a list compiled by the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

The report lists the 50 most violent cities by the number of murders per 100,000 people, only considering cities with populations exceeding 300,000, where murder statistics are made available.

In the 2016/17 iteration, Cape Town ranked 13th with a murder rate of 60.8 per 100,000 people. In 2017/18, the city’s murder rate was 62.3 per 100,000 people. In terms of the sheer number of murders, Cape Town has the third highest tally among the top 50, with just under 2,500 murders recorded over the period.

As with previous years, the list is dominated by South American cities, where murder rates have climbed in the past year. Los Cabos in Mexico has supplanted the previous ‘most violent’ city, with a murder rate of 111.33 per 100,000 people – but only marginally higher than the former number one, Cracas, Venezuela, which has a murder rate of 111.19 per 100,000.

While these murder rates are the highest in the world, they are still lower than the highs seen in 2016/17, where Caracas hit as high 130 murders per 100,000 people.

In South Africa, only two other cities were listed outside of Cape Town: Durban, and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Durban’s murder rate, like Cape Town’s, increased from 34.4 per 100,000 in 2016/17 to 38.1 per 100,000 in 2017/18 – meanwhile, Nelson Mandela Bay’s murder rate improved from 39.2 per 100,000 to 37.5 per 100,000, losing its spot as the second most violent city in the country.

Despite its reputation for high levels of crime, Johannesburg’s murder rate was not high enough to be ranked among the top 50. Joburg was last featured in the ranking in 2015, when it was ranked 47th.

Most violent cities in South Africa (murder rate)

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City 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cape Town 51.0 60.0 65.5 60.8 62.3
Nelson Mandela Bay 35.7 >34.9 35.8 39.2 37.5
Durban 32.4 34.7 35.9 34.4 38.1
Johannesburg 33.3 29.4

Most violent cities in South Africa (ranking)

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City 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cape Town 34th 27th 20th 14th 9th 13th 15th
Nelson Mandela Bay 41st 38th 41st 35th 42nd 43rd 46th
Durban 49th 46th 48th 38th 41st 50th 44th
Johannesburg 50th 47th

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.

The overwhelming majority of the 50 most violent cities in the world are in Latin America (42 cities).

These are world’s 15 most violent cities:

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City Country Homicides Population Rate per 100,000
Los Cabos Mexico 365 328 245 111.33
Caracas Venezuela 3 387 3 046 104 111.19
Acapulco Mexico 910 853 646 106.63
Natal Brazil 1 378 1 343 573 102.56
Tijuana Mexico 1 897 1 882 492 100.77
La Paz Mexico 259 305 455 84.79
Fortaleza Brazil 3 270 3 917 279 83.48
Victoria Mexico 301 361 078 83.32
Guayana Venezuela 728 906 879 80.28
Belem Brazil 1 743 2 441 761 71.38
Vitória da Conquista Brazil 245 348 718 70.26
Culiacán Mexico 671 957 613 70.10
St Louis United States 205 311 404 65.83
Macelo Mexico 658 1 029 129 63.94
Cape Town South Africa 2 493 4 004 793 62.25