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)
|Nelson Mandela Bay||35.7||>34.9||35.8||39.2||37.5|
Most violent cities in South Africa (ranking)
|Nelson Mandela Bay||41st||38th||41st||35th||42nd||43rd||46th|
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:
|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|
|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|
|Belem||Brazil||1 743||2 441 761||71.38|
|Vitória da Conquista||Brazil||245||348 718||70.26|
|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|