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Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities In The World (2024)

The most dangerous cities in the world are not only home to the hardest kind of people; a sad irony is that they are also home to the most vulnerable in the larger society. The irony is that these people often do not want to live in cities that are full of hardened criminals; they are just forced to.

Vulnerable people live in dangerous cities because they are usually cheaper to live in; these abandoned cities, or abandoned sections of thriving cities are attractive to the poor because they can find cheap housing, and they can live on less generally.

All the wealthy citizens soon live those areas, and all the police and other law enforcement agencies soon concentrate their efforts on the areas with the wealthy citizens. The following cities are places you don’t want to go.

Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities In The World

1. Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas is the cultural and commercial capital of Venezuela; it is located in the north of Venezuela, where it is a very important city in the country, and even in the region. This is a city of around 3.2 million people, and plus the metropolitan area, it has a much larger population.

It is difficult to imagine that this beautiful city is the most dangerous in the world; but the statistics do not lie. The crime rate is very high; and there are far too many people using and dealing on drugs.

The city has a murder rate that is around 122 per 100,000 residents; and an equally high rate of kidnappings and robberies. There is a high amount of organized crime; and the police are complicit in their activities.

Caracas has been called the global murder hotspot; the high rate of murder, as well as other violent crimes paint the picture of a very terrible place to live.

2. Pretoria, South Africa

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa; making it arguably the most important city in the country. This city has all the arms of government, as well as the nation’s security apparatus stationed there and working round the clock, which makes it quite surprising that it has such a high crime rate.

Pretoria has a lot of organized crime; criminal gangs, operate in very sophisticated ways, and are very hard to track. The result is that there is a lot of violence in the city; the recent record is 95.54 per 1000 citizens, and that is a very worrying record indeed.

Most citizens of Pretoria are afraid for their safety, in order to live and do business in this city, they have to take special precautions to ensure safety. There is not a lot of faith in the police; understandably, there is a limit to what they can do.

Residents who do not live in the posh areas of Faerie Glen, Menlo Park, and Queenswood generally do feel safe.

3. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby is the capital and largest city in Papua New Guinea. It is also one of the largest cities in the region. There is quite some beauty to this city; especially has it has an extensive coastline and beaches where people come from all over the world to relax.

While relaxing on the beaches, people have no idea that the people are getting killed at a rate of 45 per 100,000 citizens per year, and that there is a cesspool of robberies, break-ins, and other forms of crime.

Port Moresby is a living hell for anyone who cannot afford to live in a secure enclave, or stay in a 5 star hotel. There is a lot of drugs on the streets, and human trafficking, as well as non-violent crimes are all part of the problem.

4. Durban, South Africa

Durban is one of the most beautiful places in Africa, but unfortunately one of the continent’s crime hotspots. Durban is one of the major tourism centers of South Africa, and that means it receives millions of visitors per year. It is not clear how this affects the data gathered, but the city is certainly in a lot of trouble as regards crime.

Some of the crimes include rape, murder, car-jackings, robberies and shootings. In fact, police officers are not spared the shootings; there have been several cases of policemen getting shot; which leads to the question of whether they are involved in crime.

5. Johannesburg, South Africa        

Johannesburg is yet another city in South Africa to grace this terrible list; it has a population of nearly 15 million, making it one of the largest cities on the continent. Johannesburg is one of the wealthiest cities in the world; it is also the financial and commercial capital of the country, making it a very important place in deed.

However, all the good that can potentially come from Johannesburg is undermined by the high crime rate.  Johannesburg has a score of 80.87 on the crime index; making it quite a horrible place to live.

Johannesburg is popular among thieves, car-jackers, drug dealers, and such kind of people. Murders occur at the rate of 38.59 per 100,000 citizens, and most of those murders are gun related murders.

6. San Pedro Sula, Honduras

San Pedro Sula is one of Honduras’ most important cities. It has a population of over 700 thousand, and a very interesting history, dating back many centuries. The city is filled with historical and modern landmarks which show that this is quite a prosperous place.

However, what is prosperity without security? San Pedro Sula is a crime hotspot; the murder rate is 85.5 per 100,000 people, and most of the murders happen using guns. Gangs also operate almost unimpeded in this city, and there is a lot of corruption in law enforcement.

As a matter of fact this was once considered the most dangerous city in the world; a few years ago it had a murder rate of 187 per 100,000 people. Even now, robberies, car-jackings, illicit drugs, prostitution, and other kinds of crime remain everyday occurrences.

7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is another beautiful city whose beauty is tainted by the high crime rate. Rio is the capital of Brazil, and has a population of around 6.7 million people. This is a city of great cultural heritage; and it also has many historic and cultural monuments.

The city is also important for tourism; which means people from outside come in to enjoy its culture in large numbers. What the visitors often do not know is that there is a high amount of crime going on not very far away from the hotels they are lodged in.

Rio has a murder rate of 25 per 100,000 citizens. But there is no guarantee of the murder occurring to only citizens. Other types of crime include robberies, petty theft and car-jackings. Recently there were 4,653 shootings, and one can only image if they had all ended up in fatalities.

8. Salvador, Brazil

Salvador, Brazil is another beautiful port city; there has been a lot of effort to beautify this city and make it more suitable for tourism. Tourism is an important sector in the city; directly or indirectly it provides employment for the around 2.8 million people in the city.

Those who are not fortunate to be employed, however, find themselves easy recruits for the criminal organizations that bedevil the city.

Some of the criminal activities found in Salvador include murder; which happens at a rate of 46.8 per 100,000. There is also a lot of vandalism, robbery, and assault.

9. Fortaleza, Brazil

Fortaleza is another Brazilian city in which crime has become a part of the culture. This city is located in the northeast of Brazil; and has a population of around 2.8 million people. Fortaleza is quite a beautiful city; the beaches, the palatial hotels, and the tall buildings in the skyline all make this a beautiful place to see.

Seeing this city may expose one to violence however; the government has become overwhelmed by the spate of violence, most of which are tied to the warring gangs in the city.

Gun violence is plenty, and then there is also the problem of drugs, and prostitution. Anybody who decides to visit this city needs to be extra careful.

10. Recife, Brazil

Recife is a city that is just as beautiful as anywhere else in the world. The landmarks are just breathtakingly beautiful. Recife is also optimized for tourism; the beaches, playgrounds, parks and hotels are numerous and beautiful.

But tourists have to be careful what they carry with them; Recife is a hub of crime, including robberies, robberies on buses, petty theft, and so on. As for murder, it occurs at the rate of 35.5 per 100,000 people.

There are several measures that have recently been put in place to bring down crime, but it is still too early to tell if they will be successful or not.

11. Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth is a thriving city in South Africa; the city is now officially known as Gqeberha, although locals still call it P.E. the city is located in the southern tip of east South Africa.  Port Elizabeth has a population of 1.1 million people.

Port Elizabeth is one of the most important port cities in the country; which makes it a major hub for trade and manufacturing.

Unfortunately, there is also a trade for drugs, murder, and many other criminal enterprises. This makes P.E quite a dangerous place to stay. There is a high rate of robberies, vandalism, and corruption in the city.

12. Port Of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago

Port of Spain is the capital city in Trinidad and Tobago; it is also one of the largest cities in the country, with a population of around 544,949.

The city is very important in terms of economy and culture. The business landscape includes manufacturing, services, and tourism. This city is famous for its beaches, which are always bubbling with soca music.

With the never-ending party atmosphere comes the problems of drugs and alcohol usage. The city is a hotspot for crime; including assault, robbery, car theft, and so on. For some reason, killings of women and girls also takes place quite frequently in this city; leading to questions about it being a cultural problem.

13. Rosario, Argentina

Rosario is an important city in Argentina; it is the third-most populous city in the country; the population stands at 1.7 million, and the city is quite impressive in terms of architecture. Rosario also is such that tourism can flourish; there are beautiful beaches, as well as hotels and parks make it great for tourists.

However, Rosario has a problem of crime; murder occurs at a rate of 22 per 100,000, and then there are many other problems such as drug trafficking, vandalism and theft.

14. Baltimore, MD, United States

Baltimore is obviously the most dangerous city in the U.S, and one of the toughest in the world. Baltimore has a population of 585,708; the highest in Maryland.

Baltimore is quite a beautiful city; there are several beaches, resorts, and green areas. The city also has beautiful monuments and an impressive skyline. Baltimore has a lot of young people; perhaps attracted by education and sports facilities which are many across the city.

Baltimore has a lot of crime; in fact the city is quite famous for its riots, murders, robberies, and other types of crime, making it quite unattractive to people who want to raise families or establish businesses.

15. Detroit, MI, United States

Detroit used to be the crime capital of the United States. It is still one of the toughest places in the country, and that gives it a kind of hard culture. Detroit has a population of around 3.7 million people, and the architecture and monuments of the city are quite impressive.

Detroit’s decline is more of an economic one; in the 1940’s the city fell from grace as it lost its economy and many residents were force to leave because they could not find jobs. Since then it became quite the crime hotspot; with organized crime taking center stage.

Todays’ Detroit is not quite different; the city is filed for bankruptcy in 2013, although it existed that status the following year. Still; with a bleak economic outlook, crime is inevitable.

Some of the criminal activities in this city include; murder (which occurs at the rate of 43.4 per 100,000), as well as assault, robberies, grand larceny, and so many other crimes.

16. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is another South African city to find itself on this list. This is also a beautiful city; it has an impressive skyline, as well as a beautiful mountain range, and pristine beaches. Cape Town is one of the most important cities in South Africa; its economy is boosted by financial services, retailers, clothing companies, media establishments, and of course tourism and hospitality industries.

Cape Town’s shine is however dulled by the activities of criminals; the murder rate is 64 per 100,000 people. Other kinds of crime include car jackings, theft, assault, rape, and so on. This is not a safe place to live at all; which is why the wealthier citizens live in gated communities, and have very good security.

17. Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil is a port city in Ecuador; it is one of the most important cities in the country; it is a hub of trade and tourist activity. The tourism sector is boosted by the availability of several beautiful beaches; which in turn have some of the finest hotels in the region. Sadly, all of this is overshadowed by the presence of criminal gangs.

Criminal gangs have made the city a dangerous place to live; some of their activities include outright violence. The gangs are in perpetual war over the control of the drug trade in the city. The situation is so bad that even the prisons are un-controllable; there is so much violence that the government must find urgent solutions to prevent a complete breakdown of order.

The official murder rate is 47 per 100,000 residents, but the way the murders are carried out is a completely different matter. Guns, knives, and even bombs are used to kill people; sometimes mutilated bodies are found. It is just horrible.

18. Tijuana, Mexico

Tijuana, Mexico has always had a bad reputation; but even though it is one of the most dangerous cities in the world; the statistics show that its reputation has been unfairly targeted. This is a very beautiful city; with pristine beaches on the coast, and high ground in the interior. This is a place of culture, economics, and of tourism. Tijuana has a population of around 1.9 million people.

Tijuana has a high crime rate which overshadows the culture and tourism; it experiences murder at the rate of 105 per 100,000 residents. That is a grim figure indeed; especially when one considers that the population is quite small. Other crimes include robbery, kidnapping, car jackings, theft, and so on.

19. Porto Alegre, Brazil

Porto Alegre is another important city in Brazil; it has a population of around 1.4 million inhabitants, and a very impressive landscape which includes beautiful beaches, grand hotels, and green areas which combine to make it a very beautiful and energetic area. Just a quick look reveals how important tourism is to this city.

But that tourism is hampered by the rate of violence. The murder rate stands at 21.2 per 100,000 people; and when you consider the population, it means that everyone stands a considerable risk of murder.

Other kinds of crime in this city include assault, armed robbery, vandalism, theft, car-jackings and so on.

20. Alice Springs, Australia

Alice Springs is a city in the otherwise peaceful country of Australia. This city is located in the north of the country; it is very arid, and somewhat secluded from the rest of the country. Perhaps it is a combination of these factors that have made the city much more rugged than one would expect for Australia.

Alice Springs has a population of 25,000; making it one of the smallest cities in contention for most brutal city in the world. The main crimes in this city include sexual assault, commercial break-ins, car-jackings, theft, and so many others.

The following is a more detailed compilation of the 100 most dangerous cities in the world.

Rank City Location Crime Index
1 Caracas, Venezuela South America 83.1
2 Pretoria, South Africa Southern Africa 81.8
3 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Oceania 81.0
4 Durban, South Africa Southern Africa 80.9
5 Johannesburg, South Africa Southern Africa 80.7
6 San Pedro Sula, Honduras Central America 80.7
7 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil South America 77.6
8 Salvador, Brazil South America 77.0
9 Fortaleza, Brazil South America 76.9
10 Recife, Brazil South America 76.6
11 Port Elizabeth, South Africa Southern Africa 76.5
12 Port of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago Caribbean 76.2
13 Rosario, Argentina South America 75.8
14 Baltimore, MD, United States Americas 75.6
15 Detroit, MI, United States Americas 73.9
16 Cape Town, South Africa Southern Africa 73.7
17 Guayaquil, Ecuador South America 72.3
18 Tijuana, Mexico Americas 72.0
19 Porto Alegre, Brazil South America 71.8
20 Alice Springs, Australia Oceania 71.5
21 Albuquerque, NM, United States Americas 71.5
22 Lima, Peru South America 70.9
23 Cali, Colombia Americas 70.6
24 Saint Louis, MO, United States Americas 70.6
25 Sao Paulo, Brazil South America 70.6
26 Damascus, Syria 70.2
27 Windhoek, Namibia Southern Africa 68.5
28 New Orleans, LA, United States Americas 68.5
29 San Juan, Puerto Rico Americas 68.4
30 Oakland, CA, United States Americas 68.2
31 Mexico City, Mexico Americas 68.2
32 Milwaukee, WI, United States Americas 68.0
33 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Caribbean 67.7
34 Lagos, Nigeria West Africa 67.7
35 Campinas, Brazil South America 66.4
36 Bogota, Colombia South America 66.2
37 Chicago, IL, United States Americas 66.0
38 Philadelphia, PA, United States Americas 65.7
39 Manila, Philippines Asia 64.9
40 Catania, Italy Europe 64.6
41 Marseille, France Europe 64.4
42 Atlanta, GA, United States Americas 63.9
43 Belo Horizonte, Brazil South Americas 63.9
44 Houston, TX, United States Americas 63.8
45 Surrey, Canada Americas 63.7
46 Dhaka, Bangladesh Asia 63.2
47 Buenos Aires, Argentina South Africa 63.2
48 Birmingham, United Kingdom Europe 63.1
49 Coventry, United Kingdom Europe 63.1
50 Charleroi, Belgium Europe 62.8
51 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Asia 62.7
52 Naples, Italy Europe 62.6
53 Quito, Ecuador Americas 62.6
54 Cairns, Australia Oceania 62.5
55 Lethbridge, AB, Canada Americas 62.4
56 Guadalajara, Mexico Americas 62.3
57 Santiago, Chile Americas 62.1
58 Curitiba, Brazil South America 62.1
59 Cordoba, Argentina South America 62.0
60 Kelowna, Canada Americas 61.6
61 Red Deer, Canada Americas 61.6
62 Montpellier, France Europe 61.6
63 San Francisco, CA, United States Americas 61.4
64 Darwin, Australia Oceania 61.3
65 Sudbury, Canada Americas 60.7
66 Harare, Zimbabwe Southern Africa 60.6
67 Brasilia, Brazil South America 60.1
68 Oshawa, Canada Americas 60.0
69 Washington, DC, United States Americas 59.8
70 Winnipeg, Canada Americas 59.5
71 Liege, Belgium Europe 59.4
72 Delhi, India Asia 59.3
73 Nairobi, Kenya Eastern Europe 59.1
74 Townsville, Australia Oceania 58.8
75 Grenoble, France Europe 58.7
76 Baghdad, Iraq Asia 58.6
77 Puebla, Mexico Americas 58.6
78 Geelong, Australia Oceania 58.5
79 Toowoomba, Australia Oceania 58.5
80 Indianapolis, IN, United States Americas 58.5
81 Nantes, France Europe 58.4
82 Paris, France Europe 57.1
83 Malmo, Sweden Europe 56.2
84 Portland, OR, United States Americas 56.1
85 Tehran, Iran Asia 56.0
86 Minneapolis, MN, United States Americas 55.9
87 Cancun, Mexico Americas 55.8
88 Athens, Greece Europe 55.7
89 Phnom Penh, Cambodia Asia 55.6
90 Montevideo, Uruguay Americas 55.6
91 Las Vegas, NV, United States Americas 55.6
92 Medellin, Colombia Americas 55.6
93 Medellin, Colombia Americas 55.6
94 Noida, India Asia 55.4
95 Nice, France Europe 55.2
96 San Jose, Costa Rica Central America 55.2
97 Karachi, Pakistan Asia 55.2
98 Casablanca, Morocco North Africa 55.1
99 Hamilton, Canada Americas 55.0
100 Brampton, Canada Americas 55.0



The most dangerous cities in the world are not empty; one could rationally expect people to move away from such troubled hotspots; and in fact people do. However, there is always a population left behind; as some do have anywhere else to go, or anything with which to start a new life elsewhere. Some may stay on, with the hope that the city may find a turn around soon; and that the security situation may improve.

However, the risks increase exponentially for visitors; they are often the target of crime; especially as they are unfamiliar with how criminals behave in those places.

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