18 Most Dangerous Cities in the World (5 Are in America)

Across the globe, there are many places you don’t want to find yourself because of the crimes waiting to occur. Sometimes, even nature can be cruel to you. This is particularly the case in the following 18 most dangerous cities in the world, five of which are in America!

Ciudad Bolívar, Colombia

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Inhabitants of Ciudad Bolívar, one of the world’s largest mega-slums, are stuck in immense poverty, and this has forced many into a life of drug and gang-related violence. Armed robbery is the most rampant crime here, and in 2020 alone, the police reported over 82,000 cases. Yikes.

Tijuana, Mexico

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Tijuana is one of the most violent cities in Mexico, and many people consider it to be the murder capital of the world. This city in Baja, near California, has an annual homicide rate of 138 per 100,000 inhabitants and is particularly plagued by clashes between rival gangs and drug cartels.

Milwaukee, USA

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You might be surprised to see Milwaukee on this list, but there’s been a recent rise in the number of gun crime rates on its streets. US News reports violent crime rates here to be over 90% higher than the national average, with Metcalfe Park being Milwaukee’s most dangerous neighborhood.

Fortaleza, Brazil

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Fortaleza’s stunning Brazilian beaches and carnivals make it a favorite spot for tourists, and sadly, this has attracted many criminals to the city. You constantly have to worry about pickpockets, especially in crowded places and on public transport. The city also has a worrisome murder rate of 69 per 100,000 residents.

Colima, Mexico

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Colima’s low unemployment rate and high standards of living have sadly been clouded by reports of violence. Proximity to the port city of Manzanillo is the town’s greatest setback, as this makes it a contested spot for three drug cartels. In 2019, Colima was regarded as the most violent city in Mexico.

Ciudad Victoria, Mexico

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Our third Mexican city has a fearful homicide rate of 83 cases per 100,000 residents, and this is not only due to the violent clashes between gangs but also between the police and military. Ciudad Victoria is also known for its cases of kidnappings, gang clashes, and prison-related violence.

New Orleans, USA

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New Orleans is one of the five most popular locations for spring break activities, but the New York Post calls it the least safe. This city’s tourist population is a target for petty criminals, and Pine Village is regarded as its most dangerous neighborhood. It’s certainly worth visiting, but be careful!

Natal, Brazil

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In the Brazilian city of Natal, residents have to be particularly wary at night, as petty crimes and even killings run rampant. Public transport and other crowded spots are typical areas of interest for criminals, and some people say gun fights are random occurrences you can find yourself stuck in.

Legazpi City, Philippines

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Although there are cases of pickpockets and non-violent crimes happening in Legazpi City, these aren’t your major worries. Legazpi City is close to the Mayon Volcano, an active volcano that Time’s Magazine regards as “extremely explosive.” It’s reported to have killed over 1200 people in an active episode in 1814!

Pripyat, Ukraine

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Another city that’s dangerous for something other than human-to-human-realized crime is Pripyat. It’s close to Chornobyl—known for a devastating 1986 nuclear disaster—and extended stays in Pripyat expose you to unhealthy amounts of radiation. The unstable, abandoned structures here are also dangerous to be around.

Irapuato, Mexico

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Irapuato, another popular tourist destination for its lovely international arts festival, is one of the places even Mexicans feel unsafe being in. Petty crimes are rampant, and just a couple of years ago (2022), 53 bagged dead bodies were unearthed from a secret grave linked to cartels.

Celaya, Mexico

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Once again, we have a Mexican city, and this time, Celaya is argued by The Independent to be the most dangerous place per capita for police in North America. Its parent state, Guanajuato, witnessed more police deaths in it than the entire US in 2023. That’s a truly shocking statistic.

Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela

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This port city in Venezuela’s Bolivar state is unfortunately known for its robberies and carjackings. Economic misfortune here has pushed many people into organized gangs, and women are at risk of falling victim to people traffickers. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Baltimore, USA

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Many areas in Baltimore have a bad reputation as popular spots for drug-related activities, as well as physical assault, carjacking, and armed robberies. Its crime rates are significantly higher than national averages, and although 20% lower than in 2022, there were still 262 murders in 2023 alone.

Kingston, Jamaica

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In Kingston, Jamaica, robberies and pickpocketing can be found anywhere, with tourists most likely ending up victims. Gang violence and shootings are also common in the inner city, with tourists being warned to be particularly wary around the West Kingston area.

Detroit, USA

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In 2020, CBS ranked this Michigan city as the most dangerous in the US due to its high violent and murder rates. Detroit featured 1,965 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, and residents witnessed over 275 murders in 2019 alone. Homicide rates haven’t gotten any better since, unfortunately.

Tokyo, Japan

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We bet you didn’t expect to see Tokyo on this list! The forces of nature in Tokyo put its 14 million residents in constant danger. The city is located on the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” where 452 volcanoes stand, and it also sits on multiple tectonic plates, making it a hotspot for earthquakes.

Memphis, USA

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Last but not least, Memphis saw a staggering 15,000 violent crimes in 2022, which included over 12,000 incidents of assault, over 2,000 robberies, and 289 cases of murder. The city’s high poverty rate and low access to quality education are contributing factors to its unsafety, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

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