The clear link between race and crime has been highlighted once again with the release of the 2016 rankings of the world’s most dangerous cities — and the fact that every single one of them, including those in the U.S. — have majority nonwhite populations.
The new list of the 50 most dangerous cities, compiled from official government policing figures, has been published on the Canadian-based Worldatlas news service, and shows that the worst crime rates appear in the cities with the largest racially mixed populations.
Eight of the 50 most dangerous cities—including the top ranked one—are in Venezuela, two are in Honduras, one is in El Salvador, five are in Mexico, three are in Colombia, four are in South Africa, one in Jamaica, 21 in Brazil, four in the USA, and one in Guatemala.
According to the figures, Caracas, Venezuela, has risen to the number one spot with 119.87 murders per 100,000. That city surged ahead of San Pedro Sula in Honduras, which formerly held top place with 171.2 murders per 100,000 people in 2015 (this rate has since dropped to 111.03 in 2016).
The report said that “some of the factors that may be to blame” for the murder rates that measure over 100 include illegal drug distribution, extensive poverty, and gangs.
For example, a rise in mass killings and escalating violence between gang members has resulted in the murder rate of San Salvador practically doubling in a year from 61.21 to 108.54, allowing it to take the third spot.
August was the most violent month in San Salvador, with more than 900 killings, including an unprecedented 52 deaths registered in a single day.
The other two cities that complete the top five most dangerous places in the world are Acapulco, Mexico and Maturin, Venezuela.
Four cities in the United States have a place among the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world (on the basis of murder per capita statistics). St. Louis ranks 15th on the list with a murder rate of 59.23 per 100,000 inhabitants, a rise from 2015's rate of 49.93, making it the most dangerous urban area in the country.
The city is also present in rankings based on considerations for other crimes—the Missouri city has a burglary rate of 606.9 per 100,000 and an aggravated assault rate of 317.7 per 100,000. This has led many to the conclusion that St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the U.S.
Also of note is Baltimore, Maryland's position on the list. In 2015, it was ranked 40th with a murder rate of 33.92. For 2016, however, it rose to 19th with a murder rate of 54.98 per 100,000 people.
Detroit is the third city included in the 2016 ranking of the world’s most dangerous cities in terms of murder rates. With its 43.89 murders per 100,000 people, it is a bit further down the list than St. Louis, but is still classified a dangerous place. Factoring in all violent crime Detroit tops the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States.
Although Chicago is often cited as the most dangerous urban area in the United States, even with a near record-breaking 762 murders in 2016, the murder rate remains at 28.2, making its position fall further on the list.
New Orleans falls further down with 41.44 murders per 100,000 residents a year.
The most dangerous cities in the world, as listed according to ranking, name, and murder rate per 100,000 people, are as follows:
1 Caracas, Venezuela 119.87
2 San Pedro Sula, Honduras 111.03
3 San Salvador, El Salvador 108.54
4 Acapulco, Mexico 104.73
5 Maturin, Venezuela 86.45
6 Distrito Central, Honduras 73.51
7 Valencia, Venezuela 72.31
8 Palmira, Colombia 70.88
9 Cape Town, South Africa 65.53
10 Cali, Colombia 64.27
11 Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela 62.33
12 Fortaleza, Brazil 60.77
13 Natal, Brazil 60.66
14 Salvador, Brazil 60.63
15 St. Louis, U.S.A. 59.23
16 Joao Pessoa, Brazil 58.4
17 Culiacan, Mexico 56.09
18 Maceio, Brazil 55.63
19 Baltimore, U.S.A. 54.98
20 Barquisimeto, Venezuela 54.96
21 Sao Luis, Brazil 53.05
22 Cuiaba, Brazil 48.52
23 Manaus, Brazil 47.87
24 Cumana, Venezuela 47.77
25 Guatemala, Guatemala 47.17
26 Belem, Brazil 45.83
27 Feira de Santana, Brazil 45.5
28 Detroit, U.S.A. 43.89
29 Goiania, Brazil 43.38
30 Teresina, Brazil 42.64
31 Vitoria, Brazil 41.99
32 New Orleans, U.S.A. 41.44
33 Kingston, Jamaica 41.14
34 Gran Barcelona, Venezuela 40.08
35 Tijuana, Mexico 39.09
36 Vitória da Conquista, Brazil 38.46
37 Recife, Brazil 38.12
38 Aracaju, Brazil 37.7
39 Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil 36.16
40 Campina Grande, Brazil 36.04
41 Durban, South Africa 35.93
42 Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa 35.85
43 Porto Alegre, Brazil 34.73
44 Curitiba, Brazil 34.71
45 Pereira, Colombia 32.58
46 Victoria, Mexico 30.5
47 Johanesburg, South Africa 30.31
48 Macapa, Brazil 30.25
49 Maracaibo, Venezuela 28.85
50 Obregon, Mexico 28.29