These are 10 most dangerous cities in the world, where stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage collide with alarming crime rates. We’re not saying don’t travel to these locations, but it’s important to be aware in order to stay safe.
1. Celaya, Mexico
109.38 per 100,000 inhabitants
Celaya, located in the south-central region of the Mexican state of Guanajuato, is now considered the world’s most dangerous city. With a population of approximately 639,052, the city experiences a staggering homicide rate. The escalation in violence is mainly due to the power struggle between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, both seeking dominance in drug trafficking and illegal gasoline theft.
2. Tijuana, Mexico
105.15 per 100,000 inhabitants
Tijuana, the second-largest city in Mexico, is located in the state of Baja California. Despite being a popular border destination for tourists, it has become the second most dangerous city globally, with an extremely high homicide rate. Poverty, drug trades, and human trafficking have led to a surge in criminal activity, including rape, kidnapping, and murder. The violent disputes between the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels further contribute to the city’s high crime rates.
3. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
103.61 per 100,000 inhabitants
Ciudad Juarez, or simply Juarez, is the largest city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, with an estimated population of 1,512,450. The city has become infamous for its escalating violence against women and ranks third among the most dangerous cities in the world. Turf wars between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels have significantly contributed to the rising crime rates. Factors such as poverty, drug-related violence, and government corruption have exacerbated the situation.
4. Ciudad Obregon, Mexico
101.13 per 100,000 inhabitants
Ciudad Obregon is situated in the southern part of Sonora, Mexico, and is the state’s second-largest city and the world’s fourth most dangerous city. Ciudad Obregon serves as a crucial hub for international drug and human trafficking operations.
5. Irapuato, Mexico
94.99 per 100,000 inhabitants
Nestled at the foot of Arandas Hill, Irapuato is a city in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, with a population of approximately 866,370. The city has become the fifth most dangerous city globally. The ongoing battles between the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel have contributed to the rising violence in Irapuato.
6. Ensenada, Mexico
90.58 per 100,000 inhabitants
Ensenada, the third-largest city in Baja California, Mexico, has a homicide that makes it the world’s sixth most dangerous city. The rise in violence stems from territorial disputes among the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, and remnants of the Arellano Felix Organization, as well as the prevalence of human trafficking and drug trades.
7. St. Louis, United States
87.83 per 100,000 inhabitants
St. Louis, located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, is the second-largest city in Missouri and ranks seventh among the most dangerous cities in the world. St. Louis suffers from the highest murder and drug usage rates in the United States, which has led to its high position on the list. Factors contributing to the city’s crime problem include systemic poverty, unemployment, racial disparities, and the easy availability of firearms.
8. Uruapan, Mexico
85.54 per 100,000 inhabitants
Uruapan, situated in the Mexican state of Michoacán, is known for its avocado production and rich cultural heritage. However, it has also become the eighth most dangerous city globally. The ongoing conflict between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and local gangs over control of drug trafficking routes has led to the escalation of violence in the city.
9. Feira de Santana, Brazil
85.50 per 100,000 inhabitants
Feira de Santana, the second-most populous city in the Brazilian state of Bahia, is known for its vibrant street markets and rich culture. However, it has a homicide rate making it the ninth most dangerous city in the world. The city’s high crime rate is driven by social and economic factors such as poverty, inequality, and unemployment, coupled with drug and gang-related violence.
10. Cape Town, South Africa
82.65 per 100,000 inhabitants
Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa, is celebrated for its scenic beauty and rich history. Despite its tourist appeal, the city’s homicide rate makes it the tenth most dangerous city in the world. The high crime rates can be attributed to social and economic issues, including poverty, gang violence, and drug trafficking.
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Statistics for ranking the ten most dangerous cities in the world are provided by a report by the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice. This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.