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25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World (2024)

city view in Caracas, Venezuela

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Traveling and visiting new areas is a great way to expand your mind and understand other perspectives. However, it’s important to travel to areas and cities that are safe for their residents and tourists.

Below, we will learn about the 25 most dangerous cities in the world. These cities are deemed the most dangerous based on their homicide ratings per 100,000 people. The first 10 cities are considered the most dangerous cities, with the number of murders decreasing with rank. Let’s take a look at the details in this article.

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The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in World: A Quick Look

1. Los Cabos, Mexico

dusk at Los Cabos, Mexico
Image Credit: NachoYero, Pixabay
Population: 202,694
Murder rate per 100K: 138.26
Average Household Income: Not listed
Poverty Rate: 25.4%

The most dangerous city in the world is Los Cabos, Mexico. It’s important to note that Los Cabos is not the same as Cabo, the all-inclusive resort many Californians visit every year. According to the World Atlas, this city has the highest murder rate per capita. In fact, it has seven times more murders than Chicago, just showing how dangerous this city is. The US government urges citizens to use extreme caution when visiting this area.

2. Tijuana, Mexico

Tijuana skyline
Image Credit: drsaucedasantos, Pixabay
Population: 1.8 million
Murder rate per 100K: 138
Average Household Income: 239,090 MXN
Poverty Rate: 27.6%

Tijuana consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The murder rate for Tijuana is just slightly below Las Cabos, which explains why many rankings list Tijuana as the most dangerous city. Unfortunately, there are no signs that crime is decreasing anytime soon in Tijuana. On the contrary, murders and crimes are increasing in Tijuana for several reasons.

3. Acapulco, Mexico

beach in Acapulco Mexico
Image Credit: darvinsantos, Pixabay
Population: 687,608
Murder rate per 100K: 111
Average Household Income: 1,184,691 MXN
Poverty Rate: 44.5%

Acapulco is another dangerous city in the world. Over the last 6 years, the murder rate in Acapulco has been increasing. In other words, Acapulco is much like Tijuana in that we don’t expect the crime rate to decrease anytime soon.

Because Acapulco and Tijuana are popular tourist destinations, it’s incredibly important to be safe whenever traveling. Even though these cities are big tourist destinations, they have insane murder rates.

4. Caracas, Venezuela

aerial view in Caracas, Venezuela
Image Credit: gregtovar, Pixabay
Population: 2.939 million
Murder rate per 100K: 111
Average Household Income: 1,788,000 VES
Poverty Rate: 92.9%

Caracas, Venezuela is tied with Acapulco. With a murder rate of 111 murdered individuals per 100,000 people, it is just as dangerous. The difference is that Caracas isn’t as popular as a tourist destination.

Since the 1990s, the murder rate and crime have increased dramatically in this city. This is largely due to the area’s inconsistent criminal justice system and drug trade. Today, Venezuela is one of the top countries for drug crimes.

5. Natal, Brazil

Natal Brazil skyline
Image Credit: fernando2107, Pixabay
Population: 890,480
Murder rate per 100K: 102.6
Average Household Income: 76,001 BRL
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Natal is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. Unfortunately, it is also considered incredibly dangerous. Natal is so dangerous that there is a 7:00 PM curfew to ensure the safety of residents.

Thefts and muggings are most common in the city, but most thieves have no problem murdering in the pursuit. Most criminals in this area are associated with street gangs and violent prisoners.

6. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico

Vista central autobuses Ciudad Victoria
Image Credit: AnatGutman, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0 Universal
Population: 305,155
Murder rate per 100K: 86
Average Household Income: 34,900 MXN
Poverty Rate: 27.9%

After Natal, the homicide rates for the most dangerous cities decreased quite a bit. Still, these cities are incredibly dangerous. Ciudad Victoria in Mexico has 86 homicides per 100,000 people. Most of the murders and crimes in this area are related to gangs from the Gulf and Zeta cartels. Before these cartels split off into smaller fractions, Ciudad Victoria was a much safer area, but that is no longer the case.

7. Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

monument in Ciudad Juárez
Image Credit: CarlosAlcazar, Pixabay
Population: 5 million
Murder rate per 100K: 86
Average Household Income: 232,165 MXN
Poverty Rate: 25.3%

Ciudad Juárez is another Mexican city that has extremely high homicide rates today. The homicide rate is about 86 murders per every 100,000 people. Interestingly, the city has never been this dangerous before.

Just in 2018, the murder rate was only at 56.2 per 100,000 people. This shows how quickly a city can become dangerous in a short amount of time.

8. La Paz, Mexico

El Coromuel La Paz México
El Coromuel La Paz México (Image Credit: Regenklang, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0 Universal)
Population: 250,141
Murder rate per 100K: 85
Average Household Income: 316,696 MXN
Poverty Rate: 22.5%

La Paz is very close to Los Cabos, the third most dangerous city on our list. In fact, it is only a two-hour drive away. Unfortunately, a fourth of the population feels unsafe in this area because of the crime.

Although La Paz looks beautiful, it has a murder rate of 84.5 per 100,000 people. The source of most of this crime is cartel feuds. Right now, different cartels are trying to control Tijuana, resulting in many murders outside of the area, such as in La Paz.

9. Fortaleza, Brazil

Dragao do Mar houses in Fortaleza, Brazil
Image Credit: Vitoriano Junior, Shutterstock
Population: 2,697 million
Murder rate per 100K: 84
Average Household Income: 116,000 BRL
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Brazil has a very serious gang problem, and Fortaleza is home to some of the highest numbers of gang-related murders. In this city alone, there are, on average, 14 murders a day, resulting in about 83.5 murders per 100,000 people.

Most of the murders are related to gang violence, especially in the Brazilian drug trade. Today, several gangs fight over this territory. Even though the military tried to intervene, the city is still incredibly dangerous.

10. Irapuato, Mexico

buildings in irapuato mexico
Image Credit: mike_ramirez_mx, Pixabay
Population: 468,000
Murder rate per 100K: 81
Average Household Income: 1,033,500 MXN
Poverty Rate: 34.3%

Irapuat is home to some gorgeous tourist attractions. Most specifically, this city has scenic gardens that tourists flock to. Unfortunately, Irapuat is not very safe, and there are about 81 murders per 100,000 people. In addition to murders, this city sees high extortion rates, kidnappings, and other violent crimes.

11. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela

Panorámica aérea de ciudad Guayana
Panorámica aérea de ciudad Guayana (Image Credit: Heribert Dezeo, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 877,547
Murder rate per 100K: 78
Average Household Income: 593,197 VEF
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Another dangerous Venezuelan city is Ciudad Guayana. This city has a murder rate of 78 per 100,000 people. There has been a drop in the murder rate since 2018, and hopefully, the murder rate will continue to drop. Nevertheless, the city is very dangerous. Not to mention, this city is one of the worst in terms of food scarcity.

12. Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

Ciudad Bolívar historical zone
Ciudad Bolívar historical zone (Image Credit: Venecon, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 407,452
Murder rate per 100K: 69
Average Household Income: 693,751 VEF
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Ciudad Bolivar has been one of the most dangerous cities in Venezuela for years. As of late, the murder rate has increased dramatically. With just around 400,000 people, the murder rate is 69 people per 100,000 residents. Most experts agree that the increase in murders is due to the recent flooding in the area. This flooding has created a rise in criminal activities.

13. Belem, Brazil

cathedral in Belem, Brazil
Image Credit: Rolfhkoster, Pixabay
Population: 2.08 million
Murder rate per 100K: 67
Average Household Income: 66,465 BRL
Poverty Rate: 70%

Belem, Brazil, has seen a relatively high influx of murders. In just one year, the murder rate in the city has increased from 65 to 67.4. Like most other Brazilian cities, the murder rate is primarily associated with drug and gang activity.

14. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape town table mountain
Image Credit: HPBotha, Pixabay
Population: 4.618 million
Murder rate per 100K: 66
Average Household Income: 34,37 SAR
Poverty Rate: 30%

So far, all the cities we’ve discussed are in Latin and South America. However, Cape Town’s murder rate makes it one of the most dangerous cities in the world. South Africa consistently has a high murder rate. Recently, murder rates have increased to 66 per 100,000 residents. Because these numbers are increasing, Cape Town will likely stay on this list for a few years.

15. Cancun, Mexico

pyramid in Cancun, Mexico
Image Credit: FlavioMoura, Pixabay
Population: 888,797
Murder rate per 100K: 65
Average Household Income: 38,900 MXN
Poverty Rate: 25.3%

Cancun, Mexico, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Unfortunately, it is also considered one of the most dangerous tourist attractions. Due to gang violence and drug violence, the murder rate in Cancun is 65 per 100K people. In fact, Cancun is so dangerous that cartels and gangs are fighting over the area, resulting in more violence outside of the Cancun area.

16. Feira de Santana, Brazil

Feira de Santana Skyscrapers
Image Credit: Ines Sacramento, Shutterstock
Population: 619,609
Murder rate per 100K: 63
Average Household Income: Not listed
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Fiera de Santana is considered an important commercial part of Brazil. Because it serves such an important commercial part of the country, it also has a lot of drug trafficking issues. As a result, it has increased crime and murder rates. Just in 2007, murders were at 58.8. Today, the murder rate is 63 murders per 100,000 residents.

17. Culiacan, Mexico

Population: 1 million
Murder rate per 100K: 61
Average Household Income: 541,419 MXN
Poverty Rate: 23.6%

Culiacan has been the center of a lot of drug cartel activities. Plus, the city struggles with gun-related gang violence. Because of this, this city has had a notoriously high murder rate. Over the last couple of years, murder rates have decreased. They are now at 61 per 100,000 residents, which is down from 70 murders in 2017.

18. Barquisimeto, Venezuela

lakeside in Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Population: 881,127
Murder rate per 100K: 60
Average Household Income: 128,000 VEF
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Barquisimeto, Venezuela, has had a huge increase in murder. Today, the murder rate is about 60 homicides per 100,000 residents. This might not seem like a lot compared to some of the other cities on this list, but it is a huge number compared to the city’s previous rates.

Just in 2017, the murder rate in the city was 8.2 per 100,000 residents. By the next year, it was at 57. Now, it is as high as 60. This city proves just how serious Venezuela’s drug trafficking is for crime in the country and how quickly it strikes.

19. Uruapan, Mexico

Independencia Street Uruapan
Independencia Street Uruapan (Image Credit: AlejandroLinaresGarcia, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Population: 356,786
Murder rate per 100K: 58
Average Household Income: 957,420 MXN
Poverty Rate: 42.9%

Violent crime has increased dramatically in Uruapan, Mexico. Almost all the murders in this city are gun-related, which isn’t that much of a shock. In response to this increase in crime, the government has promised to heighten security, but it has not worked so far.

20. Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston Jamaica skyline
Image credit: Photo Spirit, Shutterstock
Population: 1.243 million
Murder rate per 100K: 56
Average Household Income: 3,756,690 JMD
Poverty Rate: 9.2%

Kingston, Jamaica, has been home to some of the most successful organized crime organizations. As a result, organized crime and murder rates have been rising steadily over the years and allowed Kingston to become the 20th most dangerous city in the world. Today, the city sees about 56 murders per 100,000 individuals. It does not look like the crime rate in Kingston will be decreasing anytime soon, either.

21. Ciudad Obregón, Mexico

Avenida Álvaro Obregón, Colonia Roma, Ciudad de México 2
Avenida Álvaro Obregón, Colonia Roma, Ciudad de México 2 (Image Credit: ProtoplasmaKid, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 433,050
Murder rate per 100K: 52
Average Household Income: 234,024 MXN
Poverty Rate: 55%

Ciudad Obregon became truly dangerous around 2014 and 2015. Then, the murder rate was 37.7. After the city faced a lot of rival drug gang violence, the murder rate increased. Recently, the city has seen 52 murders per 100,000 residents. This is a huge increase from the relatively peaceful city it used to be.

22. Maceio, Brazil

Aerial view at Maceio, Brazil
Image Credit: Bitenkav2, Shutterstock
Population: 1.025 million
Murder rate per 100K: 51
Average Household Income: Not listed
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Right behind Ciudad Obregon is Maceio, Brazil. This city is a coastal town, making it a gorgeous location for tourists and residents. Today, the murder rate is 51 homicides per 100,000 residents. Although the number of murders is concerning, the rate is lower than in previous years. Not too many years ago, the murder rate was at 64 murders per 100,000 residents.

23. Victoria da Conquista, Brazil

Vitória da Conquista
Vitória da Conquista (Image Credit: John Vadio, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Population: 341,128
Murder rate per 100K: 51
Average Household Income: Not listed
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Victoria da Conquista has done a great job at increasing security and decreasing murders and crime overall. Just a few years ago, the murder rate in this town was 70.3 per 100,000 residents. Shockingly, that number has now dropped to 51 murders per 100,000 residents. Although the city still has a long way to go, they have made the area safer.

24. San Salvador, El Salvador

san salvador, el salvador landscape
Image Credit: 15238630, Pixabay
Population: 238,244
Murder rate per 100K: 50
Average Household Income: Not listed
Poverty Rate: Not listed

El Salvador has had high violent crime lately and convinced several migrants to flee the country for safety. Today, the murder rate in San Salvador is around 50 murders per 100,000 individuals.

Much like the city above, San Salvador still has a huge murder problem on its hands, but it has fewer than in previous years. Just a couple of years ago, the murder rate in San Salvador was 109 murders per 100,000 residents.

25. Aracaju, Brazil

Aerial view of Aracaju, Brazil
Image Credit: SergioRocha, Shutterstock
Population: 664,908
Murder rate per 100K: 49
Average Household Income: 102,840 BRL
Poverty Rate: Not listed

Finally, the last city on our list is Aracaju, Brazil. It is highly popular because it is a coastal area with several attractions. Today, there are 49 murders per 100,000 residents. This decreased from previous years when the murder rate was as high as 63 murders per 100,000 residents.

divider 7 What Is the Most Dangerous Country in the World?

Based on the cities above, you might assume that the most dangerous country in the world is Mexico, Brazil, or Venezuela. Although these countries are certainly dangerous, they are far from the most dangerous. Venezuela ranks as the 20th most dangerous country, whereas Mexico comes in 24th and Brazil is 48th. If none of these countries are the most dangerous, what is?

Afghanistan is considered the most dangerous country in the world, but its cities do not rank as the most dangerous because they are considered war-torn. As a whole, any country plagued with war is not ranked as dangerous in terms of the typical murder rate. Instead, the danger is associated with warfare, not petty crime and murder.

As a result, Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq are the five most dangerous countries in that order.

Why Aren’t Any Middle Eastern Cities on This List?

Because Middle Eastern countries are the most dangerous, you might be confused as to why there are no Middle Eastern cities on our list.

The reason for this is that world reports do not consider death related to war to be murder, at least not while the war is going on. Since the most dangerous countries are dangerous due to war, they aren’t ranked dangerous in terms of murders per capita.

Cape Town coast
Image Credit: MLbay, Pixabay

Tips for Staying Safe

Whenever you are traveling, there are four tips you need to remember to stay safe. Avoid areas embroiled in conflicts or drug wars, listen to government travel advisories, and be smart. If you keep these tips in mind, you are not very likely to run into trouble on your travels.

Let’s take a closer look at these tips.

Avoid Areas in War

As we learned above, some of the most dangerous countries in the world include Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. These countries are incredibly dangerous because they are currently war-torn.

Obviously, you should avoid countries that are at war. You don’t want to find yourself in an incredibly dangerous situation. Luckily, most war-torn areas don’t allow tourists to come in in the first place.

Listen to Government Travel Advisories

Before booking your flight anywhere, look up government travel advisories. Certain areas are more dangerous for Americans or other residents for a reason. Government advisories will show you how dangerous the area is for you specifically.

Avoid Areas Associated with Drug Activity

Of the cities above, almost all of them are dangerous due to drug-related activity. Because of this, you should avoid areas known for drug trafficking and other illegal gang-related activities.

If you follow this simple step, you will avoid every one of the cities listed above. Some people avoid traveling to Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, and other Latin and Central American countries.

Be Smart

Finally, the last tip to keep in mind is to be smart. No matter where you go, ensure you take precautions to keep yourself, your friends, and your loved ones safe. This includes being aware of your surroundings, not talking to strangers, and always locking your doors.

Being smart is imperative if you know you’re in an area with high crime rates. You should not be out when it is dark. At the very least, make sure you are out in groups so that you are less likely to be the victim of a crime.

Related Read: 15 Most Dangerous Cities In Europe

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All the most dangerous cities in the world have high murder rates. These shocking figures are almost always associated with illegal activity and drug trafficking, especially those of cartels or gangs. It’s essential to avoid these areas to stay safe.

Something else to keep in mind is that this list does not include war-torn areas. That’s because war activities are not associated with regular illegal activity. As a result, Afghanistan, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries are not listed. No matter where you decide to go or travel, make sure to keep our tips in mind. They will help you stay safe on your travels.

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Featured Image Credit: JorgeAGuzman, Pixabay


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