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Homicide Rate by Country:
Trends and Drivers of Killing

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development undertook a study that showed that the homicide rate in 2012 was 6.2 per 100,000 population.

After 05 years, in 2017, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) revealed that the rate decreased to 6.1 per 100,000 population.

As you can see, the most punishable and hideous crime across the world has been declining over the past few years. So, is the homicide rate by country is on the decrease all over the world?

Murder Across the Planet: Homicide Rate by Country

Before we observe how the homicide rate looks in different countries, we first must understand what homicide actually is. The term means to murder someone violently, intentionally, negligently, and even unintentionally at times.

So, both 3rd degree murders and manslaughter are part of homicide. However, some killings are excluded from homicide, such as killings related to national conflict or war, killings due to legal intervention or justified by the law, and self-inflicted death, which is suicide.

The rate of homicide is calculated by murders per 100,000 people. According to the report by the UN, the top-ranked country in the murder rate in El Salvador. The country has a percentage of 61.80 people killed per 100,000 population.

It is the highest in the latest statistical report of the UN. The second country in the list is Jamaica, with 57 murders per 100,000 people. Then come Honduras and Belize in the third and fourth positions with 41.7 and 37.9 homicides per 100,000 population.

South Africa is the fifth country in the list, with 35.9 unlawful death per 100,000 people. The lowest rated country in the planet in the homicide rate in Japan and Singapore. Both of the countries have merely a 0.2 ratio of killing per 100,000 population.

The homicide rate in Canada is relatively low compared to its neighboring countries. The country has a low crime rate, and only 1.68 people per 100,000 population die of criminal deaths. Nevertheless, the government has been implementing strong and effective policies to reduce the value even more.

Latest Trends in Homicide

Homicide cases are changing their trends massively over time. Well, in this section, we are going to discuss how the homicide trend is happening. It will help you to understand everything relevant to the topic. Let’s see them.

Homicide rates are falling

Over the past two decades, the murder rate has been falling globally. North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania are the 04 continents that have been experiencing a reduction in the homicide rate.

Some of the possible reasons are increased incarceration, receding drug markets, innovations in policing, improvements in the economy of the countries of these continents, more robust legal and justice system.

However, Africa and Latin America are two exceptions. With the increasing rate of crime, the two continents have been facing a rising rate in murder.

Organized crimes are on the increase

Between the years 2000 to 2017, organized crimes have killed more than a million victims all over the world. The authorities of the world politics fear that if this continues, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved within 2030.

More women are being a victim by their partners or family members

Violence against women and girls is on the rise in almost every society. It has led to an increasing trend in women and children being intentionally killed by their spouses or other family members. The home is no longer being able to shelter them at all.

The percentage remains high in the USA

Although the percentage of murder per 100,000 population has been declining, the USA displays a unique situation. The rate of killing has been continuously high in America for over three decades. The majority of the victims are thought to be young adults and teenagers between the age of 18 to 30 years old.

Drivers of Such Hideous Crime

In this section of the discussion, we will discuss several persuasive topics, including how things are getting influenced by governance, economic tensions, Gender disparities, etc. Without further due, let’s check them out.

Governance and economic tension

We all know that poor law and the justice system are a driving force of crime. Low and weak government intervention in reducing crime has led to an increasing murder rate, especially in the African region.

Moreover, when more and more youth are unemployed or lose their jobs, they tend to indulge in criminal activities. All these play a huge role in the homicide rate.

Gender disparities

Criminologists have found that the gender gap has been dramatically rising each year. They believe that this lack of understanding between the genders of the society.

It has the influence that led to more women being killed by either their life-partner or family members. Even when a male kills another man, the reason involves issues relating to another woman.

Drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol are well linked to the crime. Firstly, the psychopharmacological mechanism increases a person’s inclination to commit a crime. And secondly, drug abusers and alcoholics depend on these substances.

Therefore, when they suffer from economic and financial constraints, they choose to commit a crime to fulfill their needs.


Even though the homicide rate by country has been falling over the past few years, it is still essential to develop more stringent legal rules and justice system. To stop the killings, killers must be punished under the law.

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