The 25 Most Dangerous Cities On Earth

Posted by on October 31, 2011

Every country has its cities and every city has its slums but as we will see in a moment, not all cities are created equal. Some of the places on this list are so bad that simply stepping out of your front door decreases your life expectancy significantly, while in others you may just want to leave your wallet at home. In certain locales, like Norilsk, its not the crime that kills but rather the treacherous environment, and while you may find yourself shaking your head in agreement to some, prepare to be surprised at others. Without further ado, we bring you the 25 most dangerous cities on the planet.

Lagos, Nigeria

As one of the largest metropolitatn areas in Africa, and the former capital of Nigeria, Lagos has never been known for a high level of personal safety. In spite of some very direct measures intended to quell the rising crime rate, it seems to continue growing, right along with the population.


London, United Kingdom

While violent crime in most parts of the world involves gunpowder on some level, London’s youth have gone the way of the blade. Knife related crime has risen dramatically and in 2008 alone 16 teenagers died within a 6 month period as a result.


Moscow, Russia

According to Mercer, Moscow boasts the lowest level of personal safety out of any city in Europe, and while most of this is due to petty crimes the police force here is not known for doing its job.


Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Although it’s not the most violent city on our list, there has been a sharp increase of petty crime including muggings and car jacking. Visitors are advised to use caution and remain aware of potential demonstrations and protests.


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Despite its beauty, it’s one of the most dangerous cities in the world, largely due to a high level of corruption. Most of the city is covered in drug-infested favelas, or slums, and the underpaid police force has been known to frame foreigners in order to elicit bribes.


Bangkok, Thailand

Although Bangkok has a relatively low level of violent crime as compared to other Southeast Asian cities, it has a notoriously infamous criminal underground centered around prostitution and human trafficking. And, like most of the cities on our list law enforcement is nonexistent.


Capetown, South Africa

While it is possibly one of the most beautiful cities in Southern Africa, it is also the most dangerous. Partly, this stems from the fact that South Africa has large social and economic disparities. As a result, certain parts of the city have a very high rate of kidnapping, murder and robbery.


Norilsk, Russia

The northernmost city in the world with over 100,000 residents, it was founded about a hundred years ago as a slave labor camp. Norilsk houses the world’s largest smelting complex and due to a lack of regulation the pollution has brought the life expectancy to a whopping 40 years. Not only that, the average temperature is -10 Celsius and there is not a single living tree with 30 miles of the city.


Port-au-Prince, Haiti

As one of the four most important countries for drug trafficking into the United States, Haiti has always been home to a vast criminal underworld. Couple that with a non-existent police force, severe fallout from the earthquake in 2010, and a high prevalence of disease to understand exactly why this city is so inhospitable.


St. Louis, United States

Right up there with Detroit and New Orleans, St. Louis’ violent crimes rate is significantly higher than the national average (429.4 per 100,000) coming in at 2070 per 100,000 residents.


Bogota, Colombia

While security in Colombia has improved in recent years, violence continues to plaque the capital. Run by drug lords and with one of the highest violent crime rates in the world, it has become famous for its “kidnap culture”.


Beirut, Lebanon

Although its been called the Paris of the middle east due to its beauty, in recent years it has descended into violence and war, being bombed repeatedly, and now rated by Mercer as one of the least safe cities in the region.


Muzaffarabad, Pakistan

Located in Kashmir, the beauty of the region has led many to call it “paradise on earth”. Ironically, however, many academics believe this shatterbelt will be responsible for igniting the next global holocaust.


Port Moresby, Papau New Guinea

As the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea there is a high prevalence of violent crimes including rape and armed robbery. According to a survey of world cities by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, Port Moresby is one of the world’s “least livable cities”.


New Orleans, United States

As one of the poorest cities in the country, the murder capital of the United States has 95 murders reported for every 100,000 residents.

David Pegg


After helping found the United Nations, the United States, and United Airlines, David consigned himself to a transient life of writing lists and sleeping on park benches.

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  • Fuck moscow

    moscow is ASIA, and moscow isn’t even near with this country, with it’s crime rate. Okey if moscow is in this list where is Oslo, Cophenhagen, Ottawa, and etc… :D:D:D:D:D

  • Richard

    poverty and danger are the same, where you find one you find the other regardless of country…

    society is in a terrible state almost all across the globe, I think a return to the natural state of things is long overdue…

    survival of the fittest, no more man made laws…
    I think it would be preferable to what I see now, I really do.

  • 411monk

    This list needs to be qualified. What are the basis, statistics for making or not making the list? It is a purely subjective list based on what? Quantity of CNN reported incidents? Basically, your list needs work.

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  • Wee Mental Davie

    Btw follow up from ma last comment one of ma pals got taken by a rival gang and had his fingers amd tounge chopped aff. Glesga gangs arnt like gangs anywhere else they fight 4 terroritory they go out on afriday and saturday night and drink shit loads of bucky and md 20/20 and also they take shit loads of eccy and they meet up with a rival gang and fight. With knifes and machetes. Glesga is know for its knife crime. The gangs In my small town is the springburn peg. Young springburn boys and another one and they all fight with machetes and knifes and theres about 30 other town like that in and around glasgow. So y is it not on this list this isnt accurate.

  • Chantay

    i love how people go on about Johannesburg and Cape Town like the moment you step out the airport you get shot. i live in Johannesburg and honestly there’s mostly rape cases and hijackings.
    What about countries like Hondures ? What about Mexico ? Brazil ? Afghanistan ? Somalia ? Congo ? And why the hell is London there?

  • Stephane F.

    Try passing few days in Zamboanga city in Mindanao Philippines being a white guy :-). Have a lot of fun. Ho and don’t forget to send me a postal card, I’m not too out going!

    I agree with the other guy… There’s violence in the ghettos of the United States, UK, France and even here in Canada. BUT…. You can be sure there will be SERIOUS investigations and the authorities wont be scared to put a lot of money on it. Unlike in unstable countries like Africa, South America, South east Asia where police will only pretend to make investigation. Look what few months ago. Some different women at the age around 25 y.o (some from the USA, some from Australia and 2 sisters from Quebec) got killed in the same hotel of Thailand and the Thai police did almost nothing. From the report I saw on TV, I wouldn’t be surprised that a kind of satanic sect is around this. They sacrifice white blond women with blue eyes around 25 years old. Now come to tell me proudly that you been in Thailand and had some good time. The best vacations we can have is in a safe and prosperous area far away from riffraff.

    • Muddy Waters

      No Australian women have been murdered in Thailand recently other than a middle aged lady who was stabbed during a bag snatch two years ago.. The to guys who done it were captured within a couple of days. My daughter is working over there at the moment and believe me, my ear is tuned to any news reports of violence to young women over there at all times.

  • Venkat Raman, a resident of CHENNAI

    If Cidaud Juarez has around 3000 people getting killed every year and it Tops the list…, What about the south Indian city of CHENNAI where every year at least 3,500 people get killed In Road Accidents..???
    CHENNAI must be right on top Of the list!! Only difference being here in Chennai, lives are lost in road accidents.Crime rate is also increasing recently . ( the police force of this city have coined a nick name for themselves ..calling themselves Scotland Yard of India!!!! )

    CHENNA HAS THE MOST INSANE TRAFFIC found anywhere in globe with almost 3,500 people getting killed every year on city roads. The city’s roads and traffic sense of its residents being the wost imaginable! CHENNAI is a city with 9 million population and considered a Metro City in India. But here People Create their Own Traffic Rules!!! Those who don’t believe..Come here and find out how insane one can get on road.

  • Suprarno Muhamid bin Muhammed Subangaya

    What about Johor Bahru? How can anyone forget Johor Bahru?

  • Muh Fuga

    This list sense no make.. Any US cities (Well, expect maybe Detroit) shouldn’t be on the list. And especially London should not be on the list.
    San Pedro, Honduras anyone? Baghdad? I mean c’mon son..

  • Christopher

    I have been in Lagos for several years and there is nothing like riot, so how come did u include the citie were every boby are just on their own to the list.this is were every body are moving freely day and 9t.

  • Traveler

    I would feel safer in Detroit than i would in Rio de Janeiro, hands down. This list makes no sense at all.

    • loso

      I just hope i make it out alive for next summer’s vacation

  • Talen Storla

    Although Bangkok has police that are far from being free from corruption I have a hard time describing Bangkok as lawless. I have never felt threatened here and I have often been out at night in many different areas. I have never even felt uncomfortable.
    And that is after living in Thailand for the last ten years.

  • Eduardo

    How is not Naples here? even at Wikipedia there is no crime section at all!!! pure e-corruption, and where the hell is El Salvador, seriously is by far more dangerous than London. Glad to see that Germany is very safe overall

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  • Qasim Nafees

    i ve severe reservation on this article especially about muzaffarabad pakistan. It is one of the most beautiful and peaceful city of pakistan. dear editor may u plz give me reasons for including this city in list and secondly that picture u showed assoc with muzafarabad is basically from indian occupied kashmir. the cop running away in pic is indian security personnel. not PAKISTANI.

    • Don Fodio

      I agree 100 percent. He must have been confused with srinigar in Indian controlled Kashmir. But indeed Karachi deserves to be on the list with ethnic, political, and religios violence. As for the sex slave aspects I highly doubt it. I wonder where he got that info.

  • Terrance Mills

    Johannesburg and Cape Town shouldnt even be there, Our country is safe now.
    This bad rep is affecting our tourism and economy.
    Its safe to visit South Africa.

  • Tvkgftjjgddst

    Where is glasgow. Glasgow should be top 5

    • Wee Mental Davie

      Ano glasgow is soooooo bad u need to live there to know how bad it really is not just go into glasgow city center for a couple of days. U need to go to rough areas such as castlemilk, possol park, milton, springburn, calton, arden, pollok, greenock, kilmarnock, auchinairn, easterhouse, drumchapel, parkhead, kirkintilloch, sighthill, maryhill and lots more. Some of these citys are soo bad seriously.

      • Wee Mental Davie

        I meant towns btw ^

  • Dan

    I cant imagine any US city being worse than Pakistan or Baghdad

  • Bill

    Since when was Moscow in Europe

    • Marcoci

      since a while ago

    • steve

      Moscow was always in europe…

  • Marcoci

    It makes sense to have London on a global list that needs to cover the entire globe rather than mentioning 25 cities in latin america and Asia. London is not one of the safest cities in the world at all, it might be in zone 1 and part of zone 2 but among the remaining 4and a half zones (where the majority of the population is concentrated) there are often squallid and unsafe areas, sometimes extremely dangerous. Also the presence of hundreds of small gangs fighting each other and threatening honest citizens doesn’t help. No one remember about the riots?? Of course you have to remember that Ilford, Tottenham, Peckham etc. are part of London, not only Notting Hill and Chelsea

  • karl

    Tourist Cities are actually Dangerous, especially when it comes to Bashings, in Australia a place called “Surfers Paradise” is one such place,,at night Thugs seek out unsuspecting Tourists,,who are Often Bashed,,outside clubs and in the streets,,also rocks are thrown at Buses at Night,,rather awful place.

    • Muddy Waters

      You are kidding? Some kids threw rocks at a bus and yes did some damage but it’s not like it is gang related. And to say tourists are targeted for violence is complete crap. There are lots of armed robberies in recent years by fly-in /fly -out Kiwi criminals but they are directed at Bottle shops and businesses, not Tourists. I have never seen one page in a newspaper where someone has been suspected of targeting tourists. If anything , the tourists are the ones causing any problems.Get your facts right before attempting to ruin the reputation of a great part of the world. I am more than happy to walk with my grand children through Surfers Paradise at any time of the day and do.

  • Vincent Snijder

    You are forgetting : Recife , Brazil …
    Should be somewhere on this list , near #6