In a previous article on the Murder Rate in the U.S. we looked at just how high gun crime and other murders are in the US. We discussed the US prison system and we made some comparisons, but there are many more to be made. In this guide we’ll look at Murder Rate by Country for England, Brazil, Canada, Australia and many other countries, giving you something to compare those US rates to and showing you that while it may be much worse than some countries, it begins to look tame when compared to others.
Murder Rate in England / Murder Rate in UK
There are strict gun laws in England and throughout the United Kingdom. Knife crimes have become a problem in recent years, especially in larger cities, but on the whole the murder rate in England is considerably lower than those countries where guns are more widely available. On average there are between 550 and 650 murders in the United Kingdom every year. This equates to fewer than 1 murder per 100,000 inhabitants.
To give you some perspective, the United States has just under 5.00 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. That’s not to say that the US is the worst offender, because on a list of the countries with the highest murder rate, they only just scrape into the top 100.
The murder rate in England and across the UK looks decidedly different when you begin to include those islands that are still, technically, part of the UK. The murder rate in Anguilla, for instance, is around 28 per 100,000, while Montserrat and the Cayman Islands are 20 and 14 respectively. However, the populations here are very low and it doesn’t take many murders to inflate these numbers.
In fact, in the case of Montserrat, there was just 1 murder in the year those stats were taken. The UK does not have a death penalty and has not had one for many decades. The last time someone was put to death was in 1964, when Gwynee Evans and Peter A. Allen were the last to be killed for their crimes.
See more from his country in our British Serial Killers guide.
Murder Rate in Brazil
Over 50,000 people are murdered in Brazil every year. This is an astonishing figure. They are the fifth most densely populated country in the world, with over 200 million people, but this still means that there are around 30 murders for every 100,000 people in the country, which is very high.
The murder rate in Brazil is much worse than that of the United States, as well as their neighbors Argentina. In fact, only poverty stricken Venezuela has a worse murder rate than Brazil in South America. They even have a higher murder rate than Columbia, a country that many people immediately think of when they ponder the highest murder rates in the world.
On the whole, Brazil is a poor country where poverty is rampant and where many live below the bread line. They also have issues with inner city gangs—gangs that prey on tourists, commit armed robberies and control the traffic of drugs throughout the country. All of this leads to a procession of violence that the police are struggling to control.
It is worth noting that the murder rate in Brazil differs greatly from region to region and is not as bad in some as it is in others. In Sao Paulo it is still high, but it is a third of the national average. But in Alagoas the murder rate is twice that of the murder rate in Brazil on the whole.
Murder Rate in Canada
The murder rate in Canada is considerably less than the murder rate in the United States, which probably won’t come as a surprise. There are just 1.68 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, which makes this one of the safest countries in the Americas.
The city with the highest murder rate in Canada is Winnipeg, which is often labelled as the Murder Capital of Canada. In fact, since they started recording the murder rates in Canada back in 1981, Winnipeg has received this label 20 times.
The death penalty was abolished in Canada back in 1976. After this they began handing mandatory life sentences to anyone charged with murder.
This low murder rate in Canada is in contrast to their police force, which is one of the smallest in the world. Their ratio of police officers to citizens dwarfs their neighbors to the south. But it has clearly been working for them as violent crime seems to be under control here.
Murder Rate in Australia
Denmark is often considered to be one of the friendliest and safest countries in the world. The same goes for Sweden, and those stereotypes are right. But Australia actually has a lower murder rate than both of those countries, which makes this a very safe country on the whole.
There are fewer than 100 deaths there per year, with the average murder rate in Australia being closer to 50. They have a small population of course, but it means that the rate of murder per 100,000 people is fewer than 1.00. To give you some perspective, for every 1 person killed Down Under, more than 30 lose their life in Brazil.
Murder Rate in New Zealand
New Zealand are forever in competition with Australia and in terms of having the lowest murder rate per country, they have the lead. They are several places below Australia with one of the lowest “murder rate per country” stats in the world.
It’s a safe, beautiful country. It’s far from free of crime, but the numbers speak for themselves and only 40 people are murdered in NZ every year.
Murder Rate in Russia
On the list of murder rates by country, Russia only just makes it into the top 40. That’s not too bad on the face of it, but it means they have the highest rate of murder in Europe, and by quite some way as well. The closest European country to them is Lithuania, whose 6.00 deaths per 100,000 looks decidedly better than Russia’s 11.30.
The murder rate in Russia has always been fairly high. It has been a very troubled country, stricken with poverty and with a traumatic past. The fact that it is so vast, so varied and so hard to police also helps to keep those numbers inflated as it means that guns, drugs, organized crime and other things that lead to murder are allowed free access.
To see more from this country, read our Russian Serial Killers guide.
Murder Rate Across Europe
Generally, European countries have some of the lowest murder rates by country. As mentioned above, Russia and then Lithuania have the highest, but there are four European countries that have the lowest. In fact, these four countries are the countries with the lowest murder rate on the whole.
They include the land-locked Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Andorra. When the studies are performed they often register as having 0 deaths. The populations are small, which plays a role in this, but they are also wealthy, safe and well policed regions.
The largest European country that you can find near the bottom of the murder rate by country list is Austria. This is a sizable country and can not be labelled a principality like some of the others can. Despite that, there are only a handful of countries in the world that have a lower murder rate than it. Around 0.40 people are murdered per 100,000 inhabitants, which is a staggeringly small number and puts many other countries to shame.