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What Are the Most Dangerous Cities in the World?

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By Edited Sep 27, 2015 1 0

Cape Town

Cape Town
Credit: www.123rf.com

We see our world as modern, developed and progressive; a technologically advanced and, for the most part, morally righteous world that has left behind its barbaric past. You might be surprised to find out just how much violence there still is in the world. And we’re not just talking about wars, but crime rates in cities around the world that are simply astounding. Murders, robberies, kidnappings and rapes are mostly taken into account when profiling dangerous cities, but the amount of less lethal street violence that goes on daily in these places is virtually unquantifiable as most of it doesn’t even get reported. The most recent list was compiled in 2011 based on the number of murders compared to the number of inhabitants, and here you will some examples starting from the least dangerous and working up. You wouldn’t want to be found in one of these cities without a bodyguard, a gun and a good criminal lawyer. 

Cape Town

The city of Cape Town is located in South Africa, with the open ocean and warm climate to attract tourists, while the mixed demographics, a turbulent past and a relatively high unemployment rate invite crime in many areas of the city. Cape Town was number 34 on the list of the 50 most dangerous cities with 1614 murders committed in 2011 and a population of 3,497,097 people. 


First on our list is a city that shows that even in the most developed first world countries there are very dangerous places full of very dangerous people. Located in Michigan, USA, the Motor City once had a booming car industry, but has had a great economic decline in the past 30 years. The unemployment rate is 15.8% and the financial situation of those who have jobs is nothing to brag about. Poverty breeds desperation and so the city was ranked most dangerous city number 30, with 346 annual murders and a population of only 713.000 people.  

New Orleans

This is a city of music, gambling and interesting food, where English, French and African culture mixed to form an exotic atmosphere. Located in the deep south of the US, the city has a population of a mere 343,829 residents, but a staggering number of annual murders: 299 and that placed it on number 21 of the most dangerous cities. You have to go there to experience the interesting cultural background, it is beyond words, but the number of crimes keeps people on their guard. 


The capital city of the country of the same name, a country located between the Caribbean and the Atlantic that has its share of earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. With over half the population of the country living in great poverty, the inhabitants of the capital city are understandably prone to a fair amount of violence in face of adversity. The city ranked number 12 on the list, with 2,248 murders in a city of 3,014,060 souls. 


The City of Eternal Spring, located on the Venezuelan coast, it has warm weather and some beautiful flora and fauna in the surrounding hills, but there is also trouble lurking in the bushes. The very poor neighborhoods are extremely dangerous - you are more likely to get killed here than any other city on the planet. Even though it was ranked the sixth most dangerous city it had the highest murder rate on the whole list, a staggering 3164 annual murders, but a high population of 3,205,463 to even out the percentages. 


A popular Mexican tourist destination and a major sea port, the heat and tropical look can be deceiving. Out of 804,412 people living in the city, 1,029 were killed in 2011, ranking the tropical paradise city at number 4 on the dangerous city list. 

San Pedro Sula

This vibrant little town in Honduras is the ultimate winner when it comes to murders and drug-and-gang-related violence. The city boasts the most bilingual schools in Central America and some good museums, but it also unfortunately serves as a major point in the drug trafficking business. The population is 719,447 people and there were 1,143 murders in 2011, and in light of this gruesome fact it was declared the most dangerous city in the world.

Most of the cities on the list are from South and Central America, most of them along the lines of the drug trafficking routes, but there are a lot of examples where poverty has driven the populace to violence. Brazil and Mexico have the greatest number of cities on the list of the 50 most dangerous in the world, so you should be careful when planning your next tropical holiday.   



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