Ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world in 2014, by murder rate per capita

This statistic ranks the 50 most dangerous cities of 2014, by murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants. San Pedro Sula’s murder rate was 171.2 per capita.

The world’s most dangerous cities

The Citizens' Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice published a ranking of the world’s most dangerous cities in 2012, ranking cities according to the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants that year. For the second year in a row, San Pedro Sula in Honduras ranked first on the list, with a murder rate of 169.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. That year, there were 1,218 homicides in San Pedro Sula, while the city had a population of 719,447 people. San Pedro Sula was followed by Acapulco in Mexico and Caracas in Venezuela with murder rates of 142.88 and 118.99 respectively.

A clear trend is visible: most of the world’s most dangerous cities were located in Central or South America. New Orleans in the United States with a murder rate of 56.13 and 193 murders committed in 2012, ranked seventeenth and was the only city outside of Central or South America to make it into the top twenty. Detroit, with a murder rate of 54.63 and 346 murders that year, came in at twenty-first place.

Violence in Central and South America is caused in great part by drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and gang wars. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are major shipping points for South American cocaine, which travels through Mexico to reach American consumers. Between 2007 and 2012, it is estimated that there were nearly 38,000 drug-related fatalities in Mexico alone. Though rates of gang and drug-related activities in Mexico reportedly fell from 2007 to 2012 due to a government squeeze, traffickers have gone elsewhere and violence surged in other regions.

Meanwhile, violence in Central and South America has influenced immigration from affected areas into the United States. Migration from Mexico to the U.S. is considered the largest migration flow in the world, with 11.6 million migrants in 2010.

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 Rate per 100,000 inhabitants
San Pedro Sula - Honduras 171.2
Caracas - Venezuela 115.98
Acapulco - Mexico 104.16
Joao Pessoa - Brazil 79.41
Distrito Central - Honduras 77.65
Maceio - Brazil 72.91
Valencia - Venezuela 71.08
Fortaleza - Brazil 66.55
Cali - Colombia 65.25
Sao Luis - Brazil 64.71
Natal - Brazil 63.68
Ciudad Guayana - Venezuela 62.13
San Salvador - El Salvador 61.21
Cape Town - South Africa 60
Vitoria - Brazil 57
Cuiaba - Brazil 56.46
Salvador (y RMS) - Brazil 54.31
Belem - Brazil 53.06
ST. Louis - USA 49.93
Teresina - Brazil 49.49
Barquisimeto - Venezuela 46.46
Detroit - USA 44.87
Goiania - Brazil 44.82
Culiacan - Mexico 42.17
Guatemala - Guatemala 41.9
Kingston - Jamaica 40.59
Juarez - Mexico 39.94
New Orleans - USA 39.61
Recife - Brazil 39.05
Campina Grande - Brazil 37.97
Obregon - Mexico 37.71
Palmira - Colombia 37.66
Manaus - Brazil 37.07
Nuevo Laredo - Mexico 34.92
Nelson Mandela Bay - South Africa 34.89
Pereira - Colombia 34.68
Porto Alegre - Brazil 34.65
Durban - South Africa 34.48
Aracaju - Brazil 34.19
Baltimore - USA 33.92
Victoria - Mexico 33.91
Belo Horizonte - Brazil 33.39
Chihuahua - Mexico 33.29
Curitiba - Brazil 31.48
Tijuana - Mexico 29.9
Macapa - Brazil 28.87
alcuta - Colombia 28.43
Torreon - Mexico 27.81
Medellin - Colombia 26.91
Cuernavaca - Mexico 25.45
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