Crime in Major Cities Around the World

Beautiful and interesting cities with rich histories can be found around the world. Unfortunately, some cities are set apart not by their beauty or history but the relative safety of tourists in those cities. How can you know if a city is safe to visit? You may want to leave emotion and sentiment aside in favor of more objective data from the likes of international agencies such as UNODC or step into another's shoes and review experience-based data sources such as Numbeo.
  • Numbeo publishes crime level ratings for 378 cities around the world. These ratings are based on surveys of visitors who answer questions on the Numbeo website regarding their perceptions of the safety of walking at night, concerns about muggings, robberies, and carjackings, and so on. 
  • A Numbeo crime level lower than 20 is considered "very low", so if you are risk adverse, cities within this category might be for you. Consider visiting Abu Dhabi, Munich, Singapore, Tokyo, or Tbilisi. By the same token, you might want to avoid visiting Caracas, San Pedro Sula, Pietermaritzburg, and Fortaleza based on the "very high" crime levels (scores of 80+) in these cities.
  • Risk adversity could actually cost you the chance to visit most of Latin America and Africa, which have no ranked cities within the very low or low crime level rankings on Numbeo.
Comparison of Numbeo crime index to socio-economic indicators of cities from OECD shows that the crime level is on average higher in cities where youth dependency ratio and concentration of population is high. In other words, if the number of young people (those aged below 14 years) in a city is high relative to working-age population (those aged 15-64 years) then the crime level in the city will probably be higher. The same situation is with the concentration of the population: the bigger the proportion of the population living in the city core areas, the higher the crime level.

For example, in Mexico City, which has high Numbeo crime index and the world's 16th highest homicide rate, 95% of the total city population live in its core areas and young population represents 35% of adult population. According to World Bank, more than a half of the crimes in Mexico is committed by youth.

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