2014 October 19 Sunday
Murder Rate In South Africa Still Rising

The countries with the greatest social pathology bear watching. In them we can see our own problems in more concentrated forms. 17,068 murdered out of 53 million population works out to 32 per 100,000. So glad I'm not there.

As bad as that is, it still leaves South Africa below 10 other countries in the world ranking of murder rates. Honduras is top of the pops at 90.4 per 100,000. That puts the Honduras murder rate about 300 times higher than Iceland or Japan (both at 0.3 per 100,000).

The Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa have the highest murder rates. US rule in Puerto Rico hasn't helped since PR is at 26.5. US Virgin Islands is at a shocking 52.6. Wow. Don't go there. I wouldn't expect the US VI to have big drug trafficking passing thru it the way Mexico and Honduras do. What makes US VI so bad even compared to other Caribbean countries?

Update: I almost forgot to mention that basket case Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world. Venezuela is clearly a failed state with a lower per capita GDP today than it had in 1970. At that link Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff describe what groups Venezuela has already defaulted on and what additional form of default looks increasingly likely.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 October 19 12:07 AM 

Nick said at October 19, 2014 12:34 AM:

Here's the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
The first 100+ countries with the highest murder rate make it onto my anti-vacation list. One more reason I'm enjoying living in Poland, the murder rate is 1.2 per 100,000.
I love how they calculate the "global murder rate", wait while I go hang my earth flag off my balcony.

malthus_be_gone said at October 19, 2014 4:32 AM:

The easiest way to help the most people and reduce violence, while minimizing our involvement, is to allow Indians and Chinese to move to Africa. It'll reduce poverty and crime, and require nothing but time.

Black Death said at October 20, 2014 8:41 AM:

Homicide rates contain a large racial component. The overall US rate is about 4.8. However, blacks commit about 53% of all US homicides. Black males murder about 10-20 times more often than wihie males, depending on the source of statistics (Federal data tend to count most Hispanics as "white"). The rate among whites, including most Hispanics, is about 2.3. If only non-Hispanic whites are considered, the rate goes to less than 2, approaching Western European levels and below some European nations (Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). The PR rate is similar to many other Carribean nations, so there's nothing new here. The USVI rate, at Central American levels, is indeed shocking - higher than anywhere in Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria and Lesotho. However, the USVI rate is not that different from that for the US black population in general.

GM said at October 20, 2014 9:52 PM:

Malthus, there are plenty of Indians in Africa. They were shipped there by the British Empire to do the kind of lowly clerical jobs that it would have been too expensive to ship out people from Britain to do. Yes, a kind of unholy colonialist [and I *never* use that word!] _offshoring_! When discontent with the Brits arrived, as it inevitably did, the Indians smartly sided with the locals against the British, and so managed to remain in places the Brits left, as a kind of ironic imperial residue. And, as you speculated, over time their numbers and influence increased. So much so that some African leaders _encouraged_ them to leave; though the only really successful one was the execrable Idi Amin. It's possible that one day the British Empire will be viewed as having done more to spread Islam over the world than the early Islamic traders themselves.

Big Bill said at October 21, 2014 4:10 PM:

Forget the SA murder rate. What is the SA white murder rate? That is the future we face in America when the EBT runs out. Worse, what is the murder clearance rate? In our enriched American cities the clearance rate is around 20%. Four out of five murderers get away scot-free. When the stats get that bad, the only thing preventing further murder is some weird irrational residual fear of the police.

WJ said at November 2, 2014 4:28 PM:

Just today read an article about a double homicide in Hong Kong. The city, with 7 million people, had only 14 homicides in the first 6 months of 2014. That's an annualized homicide rate of 0.4 per 100,000. So totally in line with South Africa. /sarc

I personally don't much stock in homicide rates coming out of most African countries. Homicide rate is probably the one most reliable crime statistic in the Western world, but in Africa even that is probably a joke. I would guess lots of people go missing there the government doesn't even know about. When someone goes missing in the West, people notice - neighbors, friends, co-workers, school administrators. Much of that infrastructure is lacking in Africa. People can disappear far too easily.

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