World´s 50 Most Dangerous Cities

I am going to Veracruz Monday morning and it has come to my attention that it is the 18th most dangerous city in the world. The 50 most dangerous cities are all in the Americas and South Africa, and most of them are in Latin America. If I have counted right, 14 of them are in Brazil and 10, in Mexico.

How many of these cities have you been to? Bold them and pass it on.

1 San Pedro Sula Honduras 1.143 719.447 158.87
2 Juárez Mexico 1.974 1,335,890 147.77
3 Maceió Brazil 1.564 1,156,278 135.26
4 Acapulco Mexico 1.029 804.412 127.92
5 Central District Honduras 1.123 1,126,534 99.69
6 Caracas Venezuela 3.164 3,205,463 98.71
7 Torreón (metropolitan) Mexico 990 1,128,152 87.75
8 Chihuahua Mexico 690 831.693 82.96
9 Durango Mexico 474 593.389 79.88
10 Belém Brazil 1.639 2,100,319 78.04
11 Cali Colombia 1.720 2,207,994 77.90
12 Guatemala Guatemala 2.248 3,014,060 74.58
13 Culiacán Mexico 649 871.620 74.46
14 Medellín Colombia 1.624 2,309,446 70.32
15 Mazatlán Mexico 307 445.343 68.94
16 Tepic (metropolitan area) Mexico 299 439.362 68.05
17 Vitória Brazil 1.143 1,685,384 67.82
18 Veracruz Mexico 418 697.414 59.94
19 Ciudad Guayana Venezuela 554 940.477 58.91
20 San Salvador El Salvador 1.343 2,290,790 58.63
21 New Orleans United States 199 343.829 57.88
22 Salvador (and RMS) Brazil 2.037 3,574,804 56.98
23 Cucuta Colombia 335 597.385 56.08
24 Barquisimeto Venezuela 621 1,120,718 55.41
25 San Juan Puerto Rico 225 427.789 52.60
26 Manaus Brazil 1.079 2,106,866 51.21
27 São Luís Brazil 516 1,014,837 50.85
28 Nuevo Laredo Mexico 191 389.674 49.02
29 João Pessoa Brazil 583 1,198,675 48.64
30 Detroit United States 346 713.777 48.47
31 Cuiabá Brazil 403 834.060 48.32
32 Recife Brazil 1.793 3,717,640 48.23
33 Kingston (metropolitan) Jamaica 550 1,169,808 47.02
34 Cape Town South Africa 1.614 3,497,097 46.15
35 Pereira Colombia 177 383.623 46.14
36 Macapá Brazil 225 499.116 45.08
37 Fortaleza Brazil 1.514 3,529,138 42.90
38 Monterrey (metropolitan area) Mexico 1.680 4,160,339 40.38
39 Curitiba Brazil 720 1,890,272 38.09
40 Goiânia Brazil 484 1,302,001 37.17
41 Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (Port Elizabeth) South Africa 381 1,050,930 36.25
42 Barranquilla Colombia 424 1,182,493 35.86
43 St. Louis United States 113 319.294 35.39
44 Mosul Iraq 636 1,800,000 35.33
45 Belo Horizonte Brazil 1.680 4,883,721 34.40
46 Panama Panama 543 1,713,070 31.70
47 Cuernavaca (metropolitan area) Mexico 198 630.174 31.42
48 Baltimore United States 195 620.961 31.40
49 Durban South Africa 1.059 3,468,087 30.54
50 City of Johannesburg South Africa 1.186 3,888,180 30.50


17 thoughts on “World´s 50 Most Dangerous Cities

  1. Of the ones I´ve been to, the only one that seemed scary was Nuevo Laredo. The most depressing place I have ever been, perhaps. San Salvador was the next scariest because you could see all the precautions the locals automatically took — so I knew it was serious.

    1. Re: you feelings in San Salvador, I have heard that in parts of Johannesburg it is like that, especially at night.

      I have only been to San Juan (airport), and St. Louis. Though I am surprised that DC did not make it on the list. The one time I went to a “bad” neighborhood there, a black police officer approached our mostly white group and interrogated us–why we were there, and so on. I could not tell if he was worried about us or if he was worried we could cause trouble of some sort.

      1. I am also surprised that DC did not make the list. It is known (at least by local folk lore) to be among the most violent cities in the states. And one time i got lost in a bad area very late at night after a show. I got guns pulled on me twice, once by a group of people because me and my friends were white. The other by a police officer during a traffic stop because he was concerned that we were reaching for weapons (a real indicator of the degree of conflict he faces everyday). I currently live in Sao Luis Brazil and I have to say I have seen some shit in the last 5 months.

        As for why the officer stopped you, it is most likely a combination of the two reasons. They thought you were there to buy drugs and did not want you to get yourself killed. I had a similar situation while I was living in one of the rougher neighborhoods in Tampa FL. I was walking in the morning and a special police unit for the neighborhood stopped me and asked me directly if I was there to buy drugs. I tried to explain to them that I lived there, but they did not belive me and ran a full background check and gave me a pat down before letting me go still not believing that I lived there, but having no reason to detain me.

    1. Yes, that is what I thought at first, but our outfits and demeanor said otherwise. We were there volunteering and had matching tee-shirts to boot. It is likely we seemed too naive to be in the area at all, or something. But maybe not, maybe you are right.

  2. San Juan and that’s it. Probably more dangerous for residents than for tourists.

  3. …maybe the cop was just curious, or maybe he really was worried about you.

    …I think all of these are more dangerous for residents than tourists, perhaps.

  4. I beg to differ with this article. Cape Town is the least dangerous place I know. Its a warm friendly environment full of interesting tourist attractions.

  5. Yes, but apparently it has a certain murder rate. I´m in Most Dangerous City #18 right now, and it is charming and friendly. And it´s also one of the _10_ most dangerous cities in the world for journalists.

  6. I’ve been to both Acapulco and Baltimore. I am surprised Acapulco actually worsened. Back in 2010 I went there and it was not bad at all. Granted it didn’t have the homicide rate it has now but I still hear stories of how Acapulco is not that bad. I’d say to just exercise extra precausion and you’d be fine. Also, I’ve been to Baltimore several times and it seemed peacful to me. These statistics will not deprive me from going back to these places.

  7. I live in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We are in bad times, but I know that God will help us, and he will give the love we need.
    I love my country Honduras, and I love my city San Pedro Sula…

  8. Where did you get these statistics? I think it is interesting, but would like to see how they were collected and by whom. Is this according to murder rate per capita, crime rates in general, people incarcerated, how was it measured?

  9. Yes, I should have linked study, it was the UN if I am not mistaken, but there are several around. This, from what I could gather, weighted the murder rate very heavily, and I am not sure what murder statistics they were using. So, take with a grain of salt — it is here primarily as a parlor game (although it is interesting how many of these cities are in Latin America).

  10. I don’t know who came out with this list. Port Elizabeth is more dangerous than Jozi and Durban.

    Edited out the rude part of this comment and corrected grammar. Glad to have your view, though! This is one of those UN or similar organization’s rankings for a particular year. They calculate it using particular factors and it is true, places can be more or less dangerous depending on factors considered and also according to individual perception. –Z

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