Most Dangerous Cities in the World

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Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela
Source: Vrtolmenz / Wikimedia Commons

7. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 78
> Homicides in 2018: 645
> Population: 823,722

This Venezuelan port city on the banks of the Orinoco River is Venezuela’s second most dangerous city for the second consecutive year despite a slight drop in the homicide rate last year, from 80.3 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017. Violent crime appears to be spreading along the Orinoco, with Ciudad Bolivar, 65 miles west of Guyana City, appearing on this list for the first time at No. 10. Like elsewhere in the country, the region’s cities are struggling with food scarcities and high crime amid Venezuela’s years-long and worsening economic and security crisis.

Irapuato, Mexico
Source: Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca / Wikimedia Commons

6. Irapuato, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 81
> Homicides in 2018: 473
> Population: 580,808

A newcomer to this annual ranking, Irapuato has debuted with 81 murders per 100,000 residents in 2018. Suddenly, this lush city in the center of Mexico’s Guanajuato state, known for its scenic gardens, has become Mexico’s fifth most dangerous city. Irapuato has been sucked into a regional rise in criminal gang activity, including kidnappings and extortion.

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
Source: Phototreat / Getty Images

5. Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 86
> Homicides in 2018: 1,251
> Population: 1,462,133

This border city of over 1.4 million people across the river from El Paso experienced a sharp increase in murders in 2018, with the murder rate rising from 56.2 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2017 to 86 per 100,000. The city appeared first on this list with a homicide rate of nearly 38 per 100,000 residents in 2013, at the time Mexico’s seventh most dangerous city. The city fell off the list in 2015 but reappeared a year later. Since then, the homicide rate has increased in each of the past three consecutive years, and Juárez now has the third highest murder rate in Mexico.

Ciudad Victoria, Mexico
Source: Roberto Galan / Getty Images

4. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 86
> Homicides in 2018: 314
> Population: 365,089

The capital of Tamaulipas state, at Mexico’s northeastern border with Texas, has been ravaged in recent years by turf wars between offshoot gangs that split off from the Gulf and Zeta cartels in the wake of heightened security operations. Killings flared in 2016, when the city’s homicide rate jumped to nearly 85 murders per 100,000 residents from just over 30 per 100,00 a year earlier. Victoria is currently Mexico’s third most dangerous city.

Caracas, Venezuela
Source: DanielAzocar / Getty Images

3. Caracas, Venezuela
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 100
> Homicides in 2018: 2,980
> Population: 2,980,492

Caracas holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s most dangerous national capital each year since data was first compiled for the study in 2013. It’s also been either the most or second most dangerous city on this annual ranking until it fell to third place in 2018, displaced by the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Acapulco.