Numbeo: The 20 most dangerous cities in the world

Those who go on holiday often check before booking whether the desired travel destination is really safe. / The 20 most dangerous cities in the world

After all, you don’t want to be mugged during the trip or afraid of driving home in the dark after a nice dinner. The “Numbeo” database investigated this topic in a large survey and used it to create a crime index that shows the most dangerous cities in Europe. The ranking at a glance.

Numbeo, a global database based on user information, reports several times a year which are currently the most dangerous cities in the world. According to their own statements, more than 100,000 people worldwide took part in the current Crime Index 2023. The personal sense of security was queried, so it is based on the subjective perceptions of the survey participants, which is why the results should be viewed with caution – more on that below.

Specifically, several criteria were queried in the ranking, such as concerns about robberies and burglaries. Drug problems and racism as well as perceptions of problems with corruption and bribery were also taken into account. Numbeo also asked if they feared being physically attacked because of their skin color, race, gender, or religion. According to the company, only those cities are included in the ranking for which there are enough survey participants.

The most dangerous city in the world

Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, performed worst in the world. The crime rate here is 83.59 – a negative record in a global comparison. Level of crime, fear of property or violent crime, corruption and bribery, increase in crime over the past three years, concern about robbery, car theft, stealing items from car, and fear of being attacked or insulted was very high with values of at least 80. Frightening: When asked whether you feel safe walking through the city during the day, there is an extremely low value of only 19.21. At night, the value drops even further to just over 6. For comparison: For Berlin, these values are 77.48 and 50.86. Only concern about discrimination is “moderate” in Caracas.

The Federal Foreign Office also warns against violent crime in Venezuela, which can also target Germans. Kidnappings to extort money and armed robberies are regular occurrences, while murders are rarer but also occur. There is an explicit warning about the very high level of street crime, especially in Caracas.

Venezuela has had a nationwide state of emergency since 2016. Large parts of the population are affected by an economic and medical emergency, power failures are part of everyday life. Violent crime is intensified by the increasing impoverishment of the population. More than seven million Venezuelans have already fled in recent years.

Two countries dominate the top ten most dangerous cities worldwide

Two cities from another continent follow in second and third place in the Numbeo ranking: Pretoria and Durban, both located in South Africa. Fifth place also goes to South Africa, where Johannesburg lands. In all three cities, the crime index is more than 80, and only a fraction of those surveyed dare to leave their homes at night in the cities. Contrary to many other countries in the top ten most dangerous cities, in South Africa, which has long been dominated by apartheid, concerns about discrimination based on skin color, for example, remain high.



Yet another country can be found three times in the inglorious top ten: Brazil. The cities of Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Natal ranked 8th, 9th and 10th, each with a crime index of 77. Although concern about discrimination is only “moderate” here, the values for violent crime (e.g. armed robbery) and for “corruption and bribery” are extremely high with a value of over 90.

How European countries and Germany perform

While western states are also quite high up in the rankings – with Balitmore, Memphis and Detroit three US cities are in the top 20 – major cities in Europe fare significantly better. Only in 32nd place comes the first European city – Bradford in Great Britain. Marseille in France follows in 47th place. The first German city, Frankfurt am Main, comes in at 219th place.

The 20 most dangerous cities in the world

Caracas, Venezuela 83.59
Pretoria, South Africa 82.00
Durban, South Africa 80.99
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 80.75
Johannesburg, South Africa 80.67 1st
San Pedro Sula, Honduras 80.55
Kabul, Afghanistan 79.81
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 77.63
Fortaleza, Brazil 77.34
Natal, Brazil 77.18
Port Elizabeth, South Africa 76.85
Salvador, Brazil 76.65
Recife, Brazil 76.36
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 76.21
Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America 75.49
Rosario, Argentina 75.18
Alice Springs, Australia 74.83
Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America 74.79
Detroit, Michigan, United States of America 74.12
Cape Town, South Africa 73.61

Why the ranking should also be viewed critically

Basically, the data from Numbeo should be treated with caution, because anyone in the world can fill the database with information. Although Numbeo states that it filters the surveys to prevent potential abuse, e.g. B. People entering a large amount of data that differs from the mean. However, the data as a whole cannot be verified.

In addition, no official data on crime cases in the respective cities are queried. As justification, Numbeo writes: “In some countries, governments have detailed statistics based on the number of reported crimes per capita. These surveys are particularly good for comparing crime between two cities in that country, but are not so good for a cross-country comparison for the following reasons: In some countries, people are much more likely to report a crime than in other countries. Data could be falsified by government institutions and data is unavailable for most of the world.”

For example, the murder rate is not taken up. According to a study by the non-governmental organization “Seguridad, Justicia y Paz” (English: “Security, Justice and Peace”), the Mexican border city of Tijuana was the most dangerous city in the world. According to a report by the NGO, the current homicide rate is a shocking 138.8 per 100,000 people. According to the study, Acapulco (also Mexico, 110.5) ranked behind Tijuana, followed by the Venezuelan capital Caracas (100) in third place.

Only large cities with at least 300,000 inhabitants were examined. Also, they should not be located within a war zone. However, here too it is said that the often lacking transparency of the authorities with such data was a difficulty, and so the authors openly admit that some of the figures were based on estimates.

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