Most Dangerous Cities in the World

Print Email

San Salvador, El Salvador
Source: Joey's Lens / Getty Images

24. San Salvador, El Salvador
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 50
> Homicides in 2018: 906
> Population: 1,800,336

El Salvador is one of the three Northern Triangle countries in Central America that have been the source of migrants fleeing high rates of violent crime. San Salvador’s homicide rate dropped last year to 50 murders per 100,000 residents, less than half the rate of nearly 109 per 100,00 in 2015, when the city ranked as having the third highest murder rate in the world.

Baltimore, USA
Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

23. Baltimore, USA
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 51
> Homicides in 2018: 309
> Population: 611,648

Despite a small drop in the murder rate in 2018, Baltimore remains the second most dangerous U.S. city, according to The Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice ranking. The city, however, dropped slightly on the global list from 21st place . Baltimore’s murder rate fell slightly in 2018 compared to its record high rate in 2017.

Vitória da Conquista, Brazil
Source: Geovanni1987 / Wikimedia Commons

22. Vitória da Conquista, Brazil
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 51
> Homicides in 2018: 172
> Population: 338,885

This inland commercial center of the country’s Bahia state experienced a significant reduction in the homicide rate after it ballooned to 70.3 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017, when the city ranked the 11th most dangerous in the world and the fourth most dangerous in Brazil. Despite the considerable improvement, the city only moved up only one spot on the list of Brazilian cities, to the fifth highest murder rate. It has been among the country’s 10 most dangerous cities since 2016.

Maceió, Brazil
Source: GummyBone / Getty Images

21. Maceió, Brazil
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 51
> Homicides in 2018: 521
> Population: 1,012,382

This modern beachfront capital city of the eastern Alagoas state ranks as Brazil’s fifth most dangerous city for a second consecutive year. The city’s homicide rate dropped from roughly 64 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017 to about 51 per 100,000 . The city’s murder rate was nearly 80 per 100,000 in 2013, at the time placing it as Brazil’s murder capital and the world’s fifth most dangerous city. Maceió is situated between the coastal cities of Recife and Aracaju, which are each on this list.

Ciudad Obregón, Mexico
Source: Courtesy of Google Maps 2015

20. Ciudad Obregón, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 52
> Homicides in 2018: 179
> Population: 343,613

This northwestern Mexican city debuted on this annual ranking in 2014 with a homicide rate of 37.7 murders per 100,000 residents, the world’s 31st and Mexico’s fourth most dangerous city that year. After nearly dropping from the list in 2015, ranking 50th that year, the murder rate rose to 52 per 100,000 in 2018 largely due to local rival drug-gang violence.

Kingston, Jamaica
Source: GummyBone / Getty Images

19. Kingston, Jamaica
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 54
> Homicides in 2018: 639
> Population: 1,180,771

Local organized crime drove the homicide rate in Jamaica’s capital city to a recent peak of nearly 60 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017. That rate has declined to 54 per 100,000 in 2018, pushing Kingston’s ranking up from 16th to 19th in this annual list of the world’s 50 most dangerous cities that started with 2013 data.

Uruapan, Mexico
Source: arturogi / Getty Images

18. Uruapan, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 55
> Homicides in 2018: 189
> Population: 346,640

A recent increase in violent crime has put this highland inland city on this list of the world’s most dangerous cities for the first time since records began in 2013. Violent crime, largely in the form of gun-related homicides, continued in 2019, despite reported heightened security operations. The governor of Michoacán state has pledged to further increase police presence to stem a rising tide of organized criminal activity.