Cape Town is now among the 10 most violent cities in the world

The latest report from the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice shows that Cape Town has retained its position as South Africa’s most violent city – and is among the top 10 most violent cities in the world.

The report lists the 50 most violent cities in the world by the number of murders per 100,000 people.

The rankings only consider cities with populations exceeding 300,000, where murder statistics are made available.

The Western Cape city has fallen an alarming five positions on the annual ranking, entering the top 10 most violent cities at number nine.

In 2015, Cape Town registered 2,451 homicides among a population of 3.74 million people, giving it a rate of 65.53 per 100,000 people.

South Africa’s other ranked cities, Nelson Mandela Bay and Durban dropped down the ranking despite murder rates getting worse.

Durban has now overtaken Nelson Mandela Bay as the country’s second most violent city, dropping to 41st position (2014: 38th) while Nelson Mandela Bay dropped to 42nd (2014: 35th).

Durban registered 1,237 homicides in a population of 3.44 million people, giving it a rate of 35.93 per 100,000 people.

Nelson Mandela Bay registered 413 homicides in a population of 1.15 million people, giving it a rate of 35.85 per 100,000 people.

Johannesburg, which has avoided the top 50 for three years, has re-entered the list as the world’s 47thmost violent city. Johannesburg was last ranked by the group in 2011 in 50th position.

Johannesburg registered 1,344 homicides in a population of 4.43 million people, giving it a rate of 30.31 per 100,000 people.

Most violent cities in South Africa (murder rate)

City 2013 2014 2015
Cape Town 51.0 60.0 65.5
Durban 32.4 34.7 35.9
Nelson Mandela Bay 35.7 >34.9 35.8
Johannesburg 33.3

Most violent cities in South Africa (ranking)

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

Most violent cities in the world

While Cape Town’s entry into the top 10 is alarming, it sits among the champions of violence.

Of the 50 cities in the ranking, 21 are located in Brazil, 8 in Venezuela, Mexico 5, 4 in South Africa, 4 in the United States, 3 in Colombia and 2 in Honduras.

The overwhelming majority of the 50 most violent cities in the world are in Latin America (41 cities).

For the first time in five years, San Pedro Sula in Honduras didn’t top the list – the region was trumped by former number two, Caracas, Venezuela, with a rate of 119.87 homicides per 100,000 citizens.

San Pedro Sula still took second spot, having seen its homicide rate drop from a massive 171.20 homicides per 100,000 in 2014, to a rate of 111.03 in 2015.

These are world’s most violent cities:

City Country Homicides Population Rate per 100,000
Caracas Venezuela 3 946 3 291 830 119.87
San Pedro Sula Honduras 885 797 065 111.03
San Salvador El Salvador 1918 1 767 102 108.54
Acapulco Mexico 903 862 176 104.73
Maturin Venezuela 505 584 166 86.45
Central District Honduras 882 1 199 802 73.51
Valencia Venezuela 1125 1 555 739 72.31
Palmira Colombia 216 304 735 70.88
Cape Town South Africa 2451 3 740 026 65.53
Cali Colombia 1523 2 369 821 64.27

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