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UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country 386

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
ananyo (2519492) writes "A new UN report (link to data) details comprehensive country-by-country murder rates. Safest is Singapore, with just one killing per 480,000 people in 2012. In the world's most violent country, Honduras, a man has a 1 in 9 chance of being murdered during his lifetime. The Economist includes an intriguing 'print only interactive' (see the PDF) and has some tongue-in-cheek tips on how to avoid being slain: 'First, don't live in the Americas or Africa, where murder rates (one in 6,100 and one in 8,000 respectively) are more than four times as high as the rest of the world. Next, be a woman. Your chance of being murdered will be barely a quarter what it would be were you a man. In fact, steer clear of men altogether: nearly half of all female murder-victims are killed by their partner or another (usually male) family member. But note that the gender imbalance is less pronounced in the rich world, probably because there is less banditry, a mainly male pursuit. In Japan and South Korea slightly over half of all murder victims are female. Then, sit back and grow older. From the age of 30 onwards, murder rates fall steadily in most places.'"
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UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

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  • by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:10PM (#46721471)
    In order to live as long as possible, I have decided to have gender reassignment surgery to become a woman, and I will move to Antarctica and start a utopian lesbian society, since there are no murders there. I haven't worked out the details yet, but it seems like a no-brainer.
    • You don't have to go that far--just move to Liechtenstein. [wikipedia.org]

    • by multi io (640409)

      In order to live as long as possible, I have decided to have gender reassignment surgery to become a woman, and I will move to Antarctica and start a utopian lesbian society, since there are no murders there. I haven't worked out the details yet, but it seems like a no-brainer.

      You could start with killing somebody else -- the odds of *two* murders occuring would be even lower!

  • by Kardos (1348077) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:19PM (#46721515)

    here I come!

  • Singapore (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Camembert (2891457) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:25PM (#46721551)
    I have lived 2 years in Singapore, and indeed it is a tremendously safe place. Nobody worries about taking a shortcut through an alley, something not done in most western cities. It does mean that my local friends were often uncomfortable when traveling abroad, all countries seem dangerous after you've experienced Singapore.

    It may not be a democracy, but we have to admit, they do a lot of things RIGHT. It is a pleasure to live there, as long as you have no political ambitions.
    • by plover (150551)

      Singapore, or as William Gibson put it: Disneyland with the death penalty [wired.com].

    • Re:Singapore (Score:5, Insightful)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:56PM (#46721707)

      Draconian punishments for even minor offenses will make a place safe, doesn't mean that they are doing it right.

        If we were doing a 10th of what they do (mandatory capital punishment for possession of 15g of heroin, heavy whipping for graffiti, 3 months in prison plus whipping as a mandatory minimum sentence for foreigners overstaying their visa etc) the same people who admire their low crime rate would be calling it fascism.

      • Re:Singapore (Score:5, Insightful)

        by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday April 10, 2014 @11:35PM (#46721869) Homepage Journal

        it's a city state

        the policies that work for one small rich densely populated tightly controlled area does not apply to large areas of rural and urban, rich and poor

        singapore offers no lessons about how to run real countries

        • I partly agree, yet China is gradually implementing a Singapore-like model throughout the country with considerable economic success, but I agree that safety and general well being are far from the Singapore model at the moment.
      • Re:Singapore (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Camembert (2891457) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @11:35PM (#46721873)
        Look, I am a normal dude who doesn't involve in criminal activities. Life is good then in Singapore.
        If you think you can have a career in drug dealing, then you would indeed be very, very dumb to try that in Singapore. The result is that the city state is visibly suffering far less from drug abuse issues than nearly any other city.
        And indeed, neither the government, NOR THE LOCALS, are fond of graffiti. If you want to be an asshole and try it anyway, well you know the risk associated.
        And yes, even the locals call it a "fine" city as their are fines for a lot of misdemeanors, yet the fine system did change behaviour. As an amusing example, if I am remembering well, you can have a fine for not flushing in a public toilet. This had an effect, you have to keep in mind the poor uncultivated beginnings of Singapore.
        Currently the behaviour of most everyone is changed, nobody even wonders if they should apply basic hygienic procedures.
        I agree that whipping is draconian and overkill towards foreigners overstaying their work visum. It is luckily enough of a deterrent to strongly discourage the practice.

        In general however it is not at all a fascist police state. I have lived there, I experienced it. I would call the non-democratic government rather a kind of "enlightened despotism", and I (and my fellow expats back then) had to admit that they did a lot of things very, very well indeed.

        Interestingly, Singapore in the 1980s was the model for Deng Xiaoping who during a visit noticed how you can have good prosperity and strong government influence together. This is how he started the reforms that made China into the economic powerhouse that it is now.
        • by Nemyst (1383049)

          Look, I am a normal dude who doesn't involve in criminal activities. Life is good then in Singapore.

          First, they came for...

      • Re:Singapore (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jma05 (897351) on Friday April 11, 2014 @03:00AM (#46722671)

        > Draconian punishments for even minor offenses will make a place safe, doesn't mean that they are doing it right.

        Incarceration rates per 100K
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Singapore: 230
        US: 716

        Capital punishment:
        It was true that a couple of decades ago, they did this a lot (ranked 2nd then). Now they seem to be doing it 5 - 10 times less.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
        4 were executed in 2011. None in 2010.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      Singapore has 13.8 executions per 100,000 [wikipedia.org], which is more than the 12.5 murders per 100,000 in Africa (though I don't know the execution rate in Africa).

      Sure the executed Singaporeans have (generally) broken the law, but how many murder victims are killed because they're involved with crime? And if you can blame someone for getting caught up with a gang that pressures them to commit crime then why can't you blame someone for remaining with a violent spouse who might harm them?

      I'm not sure I'd feel much safer

  • It is sad as a brazilian to see that we are less than 3% of global population and yet we are responsable for 11% of all murders worldwide (eleven-fucking-percent!!), and I would gess that this number may well be higher because there are a lot of people that just go missing and either there is no one to report it or the police just don't give a damn. We may not be as beligerant as the US or Russia, but we are very agressive against ourselves. And this is only for murders, don't even count violent death in
  • Next, be a woman (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:43PM (#46721623)

    A women may be less likely to be murdered but more likely to be raped.

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @11:31PM (#46721853)

      A women may be less likely to be murdered but more likely to be raped.

      That's mostly because the FBI doesn't consider prison rape to be a crime; I think the estimates I hear are typically around 200,000-300,000 male prison rape victims a year, which comes close to making the rape stats 50/50. There's also very little interest in figuring out the underreporting rate for male rape victims in open society; hell, in many places it isn't even a crime for a woman to rape a man because of the way rape was defined.

      But even if you ignore all that: I'll take those odds. Rape has the lowest occurrence rate in the US of any violent crime, and not only that, it's declined the most over the last decade or two as well. Men are several times more likely to be KILLED. Last time I checked, that was worse.

      By the way: case clearance rates for female homicide victims are higher than for male homicide victims.

      You can either listen to the gender issues folks, who make it sound like violence against women is a HUGE CRISIS, or you can read the BJS statistics. Women have been, and continue to be, a protected class in the US.

      • by seyyah (986027)

        By the way: case clearance rates for female homicide victims are higher than for male homicide victims.

        You can either listen to the gender issues folks, who make it sound like violence against women is a HUGE CRISIS, or you can read the BJS statistics. Women have been, and continue to be, a protected class in the US.

        Want to bet that the clearance rate for female homicide victims has something to do with the fact that they disproportionally killed by people close to them?

      • by jma05 (897351) on Friday April 11, 2014 @01:25AM (#46722295)

        When I was in US, I was very puzzled at the lack of empathy in public discourse towards prison rape. This was especially surprising since US leads the world in incarceration rate (3.5 times the supposedly âoeevery thing is a crimeâ Singapore) - so it is not even as if prison is reserved for the worst of the worst, with non-violent offenders frequently jailed, let alone the argument of punishing as sentenced and nothing more.

        However, I don't understand your chain of reasoning. You argued that there is significant amount of rape when prisons are taken in account and then go on to say...

        > Rape has the lowest occurrence rate in the US of any violent crimeâ.
        > Men are several times more likely to be KILLED.

        Clearly not, even with just using numbers you list.

        According to Human Rights Watch though
        http://www.hrw.org/en/news/200... [hrw.org]

        âoe4.5 percent of the state and federal prisoners surveyed reported sexual victimization in the past 12 months. Given a national prison population of 1,570,861, the BJS findings suggest that in one year alone more than 70,000 prisoners were sexually abused.â

        According to this somewhat dated stats...
        http://www.oneinfourusa.org/st... [oneinfourusa.org]

        Rape is far, far more common compared to homicide, anywhere in the world.

        > You can either listen to the gender issues folks, who make it sound like violence against women is a HUGE CRISIS, or you can read the BJS statistics. Women have been, and continue to be, a protected class in the US.

        Yes, it has declined according to BJS. But the starting numbers are so high, that it is still considered a large problem.

        • by guises (2423402) on Friday April 11, 2014 @03:02AM (#46722683)

          When I was in US, I was very puzzled at the lack of empathy in public discourse towards prison rape. This was especially surprising since US leads the world in incarceration rate

          These are related statistics. They both stem from the idea that criminals, all criminals regardless of crime, are somehow different from regular folks and not deserving of compassion. It's not something that you'll ever hear explicitly stated, but implicitly when people talk about the need to be "tough on crime" and the unshakable faith that ever harsher sentences are the right approach to addressing the problem.

        • by CBravo (35450)
          People in the US do not care for another. They are polite but do not care, not really. It shows when people are at their most vulnerable: No job, in prison, poor, health issues.
    • by quantaman (517394)

      Best to be an expert cross-dresser who can choose the safest gender for the occasion.

  • by puddingebola (2036796) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:55PM (#46721705) Journal
    The Economist article mentions that other studies have determined that alcohol is the most common factor in murders in Australia, Finland and Sweden. Searching for more studies related, I noticed the WSJ has an interesting site called Murder in America that allows you to sort and visualize murder information http://projects.wsj.com/murder... [wsj.com]
    • by mjwx (966435)

      The Economist article mentions that other studies have determined that alcohol is the most common factor in murders in Australia, Finland and Sweden.

      This would not surprise me.

      Australia, Finland and Sweden don't have significant problems with gangs or ethnic violence, however we do have very big drinking cultures. Drinking lowers inhibitions and makes it easy for someone predisposed towards violence to lose their head. Please note this is no excuse, in fact an Australian court is likely to be less lenient on you for killing whilst drunk.

  • The Economist includes an intriguing 'print only interactive' (see the PDF) and has some tongue-in-cheek tips on how to avoid being slain:
    <snip>...sit back and grow older

    You're not kidding about the advice being tongue-in-cheek.

  • Play lots of violent video games!
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @11:13PM (#46721793)

    At least in the US, women kill more men than women.

    Also, while gender issues folks are more than happy to do all sorts of mental gymnastics for other things: nobody is willing to touch "why do men commit robbery more?" with a ten foot pole because then they'd have to admit that traditional gender roles for men are still very much in place, men are judged heavily by their economic status, and men are committing crime by and large to house, feed, and clothe their families.

    Lots of assistance for single mothers out there, like WIC. Single dads? Shit outta luck.

    Guess what percentage of the US homeless population is male? Depending on the area, anywhere from 67% to 80% (NYC, for example, is 82%.) Oh, and the percentage of women in homeless shelters is higher than the percentage of homeless women total, showing women are better served.

    Male privilege, my ass.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Or maybe it's simply due to the fact that men are, by nature, chemically different than women and more prone to getting involved in aggressive situations and less likely to accept a submissive role in accepting support from others?

      Pretending men end up in these situations because of some bias in society is nonsense when there are well known natural factors that make men different to women in this exact respect.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @11:27PM (#46721841)

    I've said it before, so I'll say it again. These murder counts are totally useless for anyone who doesn't work in a morgue.

    I really don't worry about *all* of the murders. The vast majority of them can't possibly affect me. I want the real number of murders -- the ones of which I ought to be frightened.

    I don't care about gang-on-gang violence, I'm not in a gang. I do care about caught-in-crossfire gang-shooting victims.
    I don't care about spouses killing spouses nor parents killing children. I don't fear my spouse nor my children.

    What's left is a very small miniscule number, at least in my country, of intentional killings from random shootings, caught-in-crossfire, crazy co-workers, mistaken identities, and the like. But no one has ever presented those numbers.

  • what that leaves out (Score:5, Informative)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @11:36PM (#46721881)

    What the UN report leaves out is one important factor in the US: about half of the perpetrators and victims of homicide are young African American males, completely out of proportion to their prevalence population; that's what accounts for most of the difference between US and other Western murder rates.

    Gun control isn't going to help reduce those murder rates. Nor can those murder rates be explained through racism or bias in the justice system. Until politicians get serious and address this issue, African Americans are going to continue to get killed and locked up at a frightening rate. Unfortunately, our current president has been totally ineffective in doing anything about it.

    • about half of the perpetrators and victims of homicide are young African American males, completely out of proportion to their prevalence population; that's what accounts for most of the difference between US and other Western murder rates.

      That can't be true because looking at other "Western" nations (I looked at the Western Europe category, most of Northern Europe category, most of Southern Europe category, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) have about a quarter of the murder rates of the US fairly consistently over the 13 years indicated. In 2012, Canada, Finland, & Belgium are are closer to 1/3, but some are doing better than 1/5. And that was tied for the best year in the US. To be fair, that was a particularly good year for Finland a

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by erroneus (253617)

        Well, looks like I didn't have to say any of what I have to say. So I'll say this instead.

        Look to Louisville, KY for how bad things can get when we try to be desperately politically correct or try to sweep it all under the rug. The "teens" have formed a gang among three+ schools and have exceeded the capacity of the police there. Oddly, only a small number of arrests have been made and of those they do not fit the profile of the "teens." Meanwhile, among the terror and chaos, the mayor essentially says

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        Norway and Finland are about 2.3/100000, which is about the same rate as for non-Hispanic white Americans. And you're right that that is about twice what it is for some other countries in Western Europe, but the point is that US society as a whole isn't unreasonably homicidal (in fact, several states have murder rates of 1.1-1.8). High US murder rates are a problem of specific, small minorities, and we need to intervene in those populations if we want to reduce overall homicide rates.

        And murder rates among

    • by guises (2423402)
      You make three completely independent statements here. The first is a statement of fact: homicides are disproportionately common among young African American males. The second is an unsupported opinion: gun control isn't going to help reduce those murder rates. The third is another opinion, though I believe this one has a certain amount of support: Nor can those murder rates be explained through racism or bias in the justice system. - It's my understanding that a disproportionate level of poverty has been s
  • Drilling down deeper (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Friday April 11, 2014 @07:54AM (#46723819) Journal

    I would also point out that the "US" - commonly condemned in such statistics - is probably the least homogenous country in the world. As such, it's probably useful to look at the state by state rankings, both positively and negatively:
    (ranked by deaths per 100k)
    1. District of Columbia 30.8 http://www.city-data.com/forum...

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:05AM (#46723867)
    Try very hard not to be a minority in the United States. And stay away from Skittles.
  • Yay Canada! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by guytoronto (956941) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:46AM (#46724059)

    Canada = 1.4-1.8/100k

    U.S. = 4.7-6.6/100k

    It's amazing how some people will defend the American way of life while being completely blind to the American way of death.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday April 11, 2014 @02:33PM (#46727899)

    I have generally found that most foreigners and immigrants have a much harsher perspective on handling crime than Americans. Many developed countries engage in law enforcement activity that Americans would consider the mark of a police state. I've found most of those people, however, find it outrageous that Americans would be so obsessed with perceived freedom that they'd be willing to sacrifice quality of life and overall safety. The difference is that they're focused on prevention whereas American obsess about deterrence via punishment.

    I'm not arguing they're right necessarily but it's hard to argue when cities in most first world nations are safer than American cities. I was generally oblivious to this until I lived in Taiwan for several years. It was refreshing to be able to go out at 3am and not have to worry about being mugged. Not that there weren't problems, particularly in Southern Taiwan and especially seedy neighborhoods. And sometimes I suspect crime in other countries in under reported. There's a lot of petty crime that I think is not adequately represented. But even then it's nothing compared to how rough things can get in the US. And to think that Japan somehow manages to be on another level.

    Crime also doesn't tell the whole story. In Taiwan, if you really had to go looking for trouble. Otherwise no one gave you a hard time, even as a foreigner. In America, however, wander into certain neighborhoods with the wrong skin color and it's a near inevitability you'll get harassed. And usually the harassment comes from some punk teenager, which is a bit of a concerning trend. Where I used to live in the US was a borderline neighborhood that straddled the line between okay and bad neighborhoods. A week didn't go by that some asshole didn't make remarks about me, as a white guy, being out for a jog.

    Inevitably, you learn to avoid trouble areas and I think Americans as a culture do that constantly. The problem is that it's the equivalent to sweeping the problem under the rug. And Americans seem to have a habit of reinterpreting statistics to suit some deluded world view. Take incarceration stats. People look at the numbers and assume there's some grand conspiracy. Doesn't it occur to people that more people are in jail because there's generally more crime? Certainly, the crime statistics corroborate that.

    Now, the interesting thing I've found, is that American police departments are far more militaristic than anything I've seen overseas. In Taiwan, more than once I've seen a drunk woman slap a police officer and he just stands there and takes it, waiting for her to calm down. In the US they would have tased her and smashed her face into the pavement, assuming someone more gung ho didn't just pump a few rounds into her claiming probable cause.

    On the other hand, I found the authorities there much more comfortable with continued surveillance. Here, it's all reactionary aggression. The rare police car I see is busy blowing through stop lights supposedly on the way to an incident. In Taiwan, however police presence was more persistent and reliable. Not that cops were personable there, but there was a lot more interaction. The only time people ever see cops in America, other than directing traffic, is when something has gone wrong. No wonder people develop a negative impression.

    If I had to attribute crime in America with a cause, I think the single largest problem is irresponsible and shit parenting. If that were addressed I think so many other things would start falling into place. There are so many cultural problems endemic to America that you just don't see overseas, at least not to the extent they exist here.

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