Depressing data: South Africa is still #9 on global murder tables (but it could be far worse)

I’m not normally a data hound (even though I love the discipline) but when I stumbled on this tweet:

…it made me wonder where the good old RSA ranked. Alas, the answer is not exactly encouraging:

South Africa remains firmly in the global top 10 for murder, alas.

What is encouraging, if you dig a little deeper, is how much better we’re doing than 14 years ago. Back in 2000 our murder rate was nearly 50 per 100,000 people. That placed us at #3 in the murder rates, behind Colombia and Honduras. And while our murder rate (along with Colombia’s) has gradually improved, Honduras’s has only gotten worse. So, we should be grateful for that blessing at the very least.

You can find the original data here

…and my working file here.


One Response to “Depressing data: South Africa is still #9 on global murder tables (but it could be far worse)

  • Gaz Top
    4 years ago

    South Africa is unquestionably a violent country, no doubt about that.

    The problem I have with murder rates however is that they are still not a perfect barometer for determining how dangerous a country is. They’re far more accurate than general crime rates (which are useless), but still a bit 50/50.

    Colombia for example is ranked as an explicitly more dangerous place than South Africa is by virtually every security analysis source going. It’s also rather more corrupt and suffers from extensive undercover violence, I think these indicators have a lot to do with it’s official toll being lower than South Africa’s.

    Again, if you look at the US State Departments’ travel warning list, South Africa, Swaziland and the Caribbean countries aren’t on there, yet most of the Latin American countries are. Pretty damning. The Latin American countries are more corrupt than the Southern African/Caribbean countries [Jamaica’s a bit closer] as well. The difference is quite marked. I think this says a lot, there’s an unmistakeable pattern.

    Refreshing to see a South African who apparently DOESN’T want their murder rate to be higher. I don’t know why (lol), but for some reason I often find myself arriving on violence comparison forums where they’re complaining that they should be higher in the list or making crazed excuses about why their figures are fudged, something that’s far more likely and probable in most of the other top countries.

    Strange behavior, have you noticed this? Very odd.