Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Is America the world's murder capitol?
Naw. We're just number 100 from the least murderous. Dozens of countries are worse.
The FBI crime report for 2011 (the most recent available) shows that:
In 2011, the overall murder rate for America was 4.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, a 1.5% decrease when
compared with the rate for the previous year.
Rate in "total cities" 5.5
Rate in "metropolitan statistical areas" 4.9
Rate in "Cities outside metropolitan areas" 4.4
Rate in "Nonmetropolitan Counties" 3.2
Rate in cities with a population of 250,000 to 499,999: 11.7 (the highest)
Rate in suburban areas & in cities with under 10K population: 2.9 (the lowest) (lower than in rural areas)
67% with firearms
Now let's compare the lowest rate--2.9 per 100,000 in the 'burbs--with that of other countries:
American suburbs come out the same as Libya and worse than 79 other countries.
Our suburban murder rate is:
--about three times the murder rate of the Western European countries, Australia and New Zealand.
--15 times the murder rate of Hong Kong.
--7 times the rate of Japan.
--3.6 times the rate of Germany and Spain.
The differential is roughly comparable to the number of American homicides committed with guns.
Of course all this is unfair. Most other countries have cities, suburbs, and countryside as well--especially the rich countries.
So let's compare the murder rates by country. Our rate--using 2010 figures like Wikipedia does--puts us as more murderous than 100 other countries. Our neighbors-in-murder-rate include Thailand, Cuba, and Belarus. Russia is twice as bad. South Africa is 6.6 times worse. The most murderous country on Earth, Honduras, is 19 times worse than us.
On the other hand, countries safer than us include all other rich countries plus even countries like India, Turkey, Chile, Taiwan, and China.
And America is six times more murderous than rich countries like Germany and Spain.