World’s top 10 criminal countries revealed

By Chioma Obinagwam


Crime refers to any act or behavior that violates the laws and regulations established by a governing authority or jurisdiction. It is an action that is deemed harmful, disruptive, or threatening to individuals, communities, or society as a whole. Crimes can range from minor offenses, such as traffic violations, to more serious offenses, such as theft, assault, or murder.


The definition of crime can vary across different legal systems and jurisdictions. Laws are created to establish the boundaries of acceptable behavior within a society and to protect its members from harm. Criminal acts are generally categorized into different types, such as property crimes (e.g., theft, burglary), violent crimes (e.g., assault, murder), financial crimes (e.g., fraud, embezzlement), drug offenses, cybercrimes, and many others.


Although crime exists in countries of the world, some countries have more records of crimes than their counterparts.


Confiance News gathered from a recent report by World Population Review 10 countries with the highest crime rate in the world.


The report noted that the overall crime rate is calculated by dividing the total number of reported crimes of any kind by the total population, then multiplying the result by 100,000 (because crime rate is typically reported as X number of crimes per 100,000 people). Crime rates vary greatly from country to country and are influenced by many factors. For example, high poverty levels and unemployment tend to inflate a country’s crime rate. Conversely, strict police enforcement and severe sentences tend to reduce crime rates. There is also a strong correlation between age and crime, with most crimes, especially violent crimes, being committed by those ages 20-30 years old.


The overall crime rate in the United States is 47.70. The violent crime rate in the United States has decreased sharply over the past 25 years. Crimes rates vary significantly between the states, with states with such as Alaska, New Mexico, and Tennessee experiencing much higher crime rates than states such as Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Some of the world’s lowest crime rates are seen in Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, and New Zealand. Each of these countries has very effective law enforcement, and Denmark, Norway, and Japan have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.


Countries with the Highest Crime Rates


The countries with the ten highest crime rates, expressed in per 100,000 people, globally are:


Venezuela (83.76)

Papua New Guinea (80.79)

South Africa (76.86)

Afghanistan (76.31)

Honduras (74.54)

Trinidad and Tobago (71.63)

Guyana (68.74)

El Salvador (67.79)

Brazil (67.49)

Jamaica (67.42)


1. Venezuela

Venezuela has a crime index of 83.76, the highest of any country in the world. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Venezuela, indicating that it is unsafe to travel to the country, and travelers should not travel there. Venezuela’s high crime rates have been attributed to reasons including government corruption, a flawed judiciary system, and the breakdown of the Rule of Law.


2. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has a crime index of 80.79. In Papua New Guinea, crime, especially violent crime, is primarily fueled by rapid social, economic, and political changes. Raskol gangs engage in small and large-scale criminal activity and consist mainly of members with little education and few employment opportunities. Organized crime in the form of corruption is also common in major cities and largely contributes to the high crime rate. Additionally, the geography of Papua New Guinea makes it appealing for drug and human trafficking.


3. South Africa

South Africa has the third-highest crime rate in the world. South Africa has a notably high rate of assaults, rape, homicides, and other violent crimes. This has been attributed to several factors, including high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and social exclusion, and the normalization of violence. South Africa has one of the highest rape rates in the world. More than 1 in 4 men surveyed by the South African Medical Research Council admitted to committing rape.


7. Guyana

Guyana has the eighth-highest crime rate worldwide of 68.74, and a murder rate of about four times higher than that of the United States. Despite a rigorous licensing requirement to own firearms, the use of weapons by criminals is common. Domestic violence happens regularly in Guyana, as the enforcement of domestic violence laws is weak. Armed robberies occur frequently as well, especially in Georgetown. Additionally, tourists are often the victims of hotel break-ins, robberies, and assaults.


8. El Salvador

Organized crime is a massive problem in El Salvador, contributing to most social violence, with its two largest gangs, MS-13 and Barrio 18. There are an estimated 25,000 gang members at large in El Salvador, 9,000 in prison, and about 60,000 young people in youth gangs, which dominate the country. Many gangs have also cultivated relationships, and in some cases territorial disputes, with drug traffickers. In addition to gangs, high unemployment rates and low wages in El Salvador have pushed families into marginalized areas where crimes are common. Property crimes, such as robbery, theft, and theft of vehicles, are the most common.


9. Brazil

Brazil has the seventh-highest crime rate in the world with exceptionally high rates of violent crimes. Brazil’s homicide rate was 23.6 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020—and it has been as high as 30.8 in previous years. Brazil’s most massive problem is organized crime, as organized crime has expanded in recent years, and violence between rival groups is a common occurrence. Drug trafficking, corruption, and domestic violence are all pervasive issues in Brazil.


10. Jamaica

Finishing the top ten list of countries with the highest crime rates is Jamaica, which is plagued by government corruption, gang activity, and high levels of violent crime, including sexual assault. The U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council describes the Jamaican police force as understaffed and possessed of limited resources. Travelers are advised to especially avoid Spanish Town and parts of Kingston and Montego Bay.


Source: World Population Review

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