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25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World (2022)

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 ten 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 expresses 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 highly dangerous city in the world. Over the last six 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 both 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 as Acapulco. 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 inconsistent criminal justice system and drug trade in the area. 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 the country of Brazil. Unfortunately, this city is also considered incredibly dangerous. Natal is so dangerous that there is a 7:00 PM curfew to ensure safety for 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

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 crime in this area is 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 feel 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 and murder is due to cartel feuds. Right now, different cartels are trying to control Tijuana, resulting in a lot of 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 number 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 these murders are related to gang violence, especially in the Brazilian drug trade. Today, many 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, this city is not very safe.

On the contrary, there are about 81 murders per 100,000 people. In addition to murders, this city sees high rates of extortions, 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. Luckily, there has been a drop in murder rates since 2018. 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 scarcities. This makes Ciudad Guayana dangerous from more than just one front.

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 at 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, these murder rates are 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 have looked at are in Latin and South America. Although these areas are incredibly dangerous, there are other dangerous areas in the world. Cape Town, South Africa, for instance, is another super dangerous city.

South Africa consistently offers high murder rates. Recently, murder rates have increased to 66 per every 100,000 residents. Because these numbers are increasing, Cape Town will likely stay on this list for a couple of 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 considered one of the most dangerous tourist attractions as well. 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 direct 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 at 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 fact, this city has had notoriously high murder rates.

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 just 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. In comparison to some of the other cities on this list, this might not seem like a lot, but it is a huge number in comparison to the city’s past.

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 huge of a shock. In response to this huge 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, allowing Kingston to now be 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 only first became truly dangerous around 2014 and 2015. Then, the murder rate was at 37.7. After the city faced a lot of rival drug gang violence, the murder rate has only increased.

Recently, the city has seen 52 murders per 100,000 residents. This is a huge increase from the relatively beautiful and 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 alike. Today, the murder rate is at 51 homicides per 100K residents.

Although this is still a lot, it has been a major decrease from the past. Not too many years ago, the murder rate was at 64 murders per 100K 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 100K residents.

Shockingly, that number has now dropped down to 51 murders per 100,000 residents. Although the city still has a long way to go, they have made great efforts in making 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 rates as of late, causing many migrants to flee the country for safety. Today, the murder rate in San Salvador specifically 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 is a huge increase from before. Just a couple of years ago, the murder rate for 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. This city is highly popular because it is a coastal area with a ton of things to do. Today, there are 49 murders per 100,000 residents. This is a decrease from years before, where the murder rate has been as high as 63 murders per 100K residents.

divider 7What 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 certainly are dangerous, they are far from being the most dangerous.

Venezuela ranks as the 20th most dangerous country, whereas Mexico comes in at 24th and Brazil in 48th place. 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 the country is considered war-torn.

As a whole, any country plagued with war is not ranked as being 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 murder 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 in order to stay safe. Avoid areas in war, listen to government travel advisories, avoid areas associated with drug activities, 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 give you an idea of 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 fact, you should avoid areas that are known for drug trafficking and other illegal gang-related activities.

If you follow this simple step, you are going to avoid every single one of the cities listed above. Some people consider avoiding travel 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, make sure 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.

If you know you’re in an area with high crime rates, being smart is imperative. 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 are deemed as such because of their high murder rates. These high murder rates are almost always associated with illegal activity and drug trafficking, especially those of cartels or gangs. It’s important 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 on this roundup because they are war-torn.

No matter where you decide to go or travel, make sure to keep our tips in mind. These tips will help you stay safe on your travels.

See Also: 

Featured Image Credit: JorgeAGuzman, Pixabay

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