Cape Town is the 13th most violent city in the world

Cape Town’s murder rate has improved over the past 12 months, taking it out of the top 10 most violent cities in the world – though it still remains the murder capital of South Africa, and the 13th most violent in the world.

This is according to the latest Top 50 Most Violent Cities ranking compiled by the latest report from the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice for 2016.

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.

As with previous years, the list is dominated by South American cities, where Caracas, in Venezuela maintains its position as the murder capital of the world, with 130.4 murder per 100,000 people.

This is significantly higher than the 120 murders per 100,000 recorded in 2015.

The biggest changes seen on the local ranking is Durban dropping below Nelson Mandela Bay to be the third most violent city in the country, with 34.4 murders per 100,000 people. NMB was the only ranked South African city to see an increase in murders, taking it to 39.2 murders per 100,000 people.

Johannesburg’s murder rate dropped to 29.4 murders per 100,000 people in 2016, taking it out of the top 50, leaving it unranked.

Cape Town’s high murder rate is closely linked to high levels of gang activity in and around the city – while the Eastern Cape’s violence problem is linked to overpopulation and poverty in the affected provinces.

Most violent cities in South Africa (murder rate)

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

Most violent cities in South Africa (ranking)

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

Of the 50 cities in the ranking, 19 are located in Brazil (down from 12 in 2015), 8 in Mexico (up from 5), 7 in Venezuela (down from 8), 4 in the United States, 4 in Colombia (up from 3), 3 in South Africa (down from 4), and 2 in Honduras, and 1 in El Salvador, Guatemala and Jamaica.

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

These are world’s most violent cities:

City Country Homicides Population Rate per 100,000
Caracas Venezuela 4 308 3 305 204 130.35
Acapulco Mexico 918 810 669 113.24
San Pedro Sula Honduras 845 753 864 112.09
Central District Honduras 1 027 1 206 897 85.09
Victoria Mexico 293 346 029 84.67
Maturin Venezuela 499 592 574 84.21
San Salvador El Salvador 1 483 1 778 467 83.39
Guayana Venezuela 727 877 547 82.84
Valencia Venezuela 1 124 1 560 586 72.02
Natal Brazil 1 097 1 577 072 69.56

Read: The 9 most violent cities in South Africa ranked

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

Cape Town is the 13th most violent city in the world