Crime Scene
  • An animation that chronicles national homicide rankings shows how South Africa moved up and down the top 15 most murderous countries in the world.
  • In 1995, South Africa was the country with the second-highest murder rate.
  • There was a decline in the murder rate for a number years, but it has recently picked up again.
  • For more stories, go to

A recently released animation published on the global social news website and forum Reddit shows how South Africa moved up and down the rankings of the world’s 15 most dangerous countries.

The animation, compiled by The World in Chart blog, is based on statistics released from the World Bank.

It tracks the countries with the largest number of “intentional homicides” per 100,000 people, from 1990 to 2017.

Take a look at the video:

South Africa did not feature among the top fifteen until 1994, but by the next year reached the number two spot with 63.9 murders per 100,000 people, outranked only by El Salvador (142), which was hit by a wave of massacres related to warring  transnational drug trafficking groups.

South Africa remained among the top five until 2000, but then started falling down the ranks.

By 2008, it wasn't in the top 10, when its murder rate reached 35.59 per 100,000 people.

READ: Violent crime spikes by 50% on hot days, new South African research shows

Three years later, it was almost at the bottom of the top 15 rankings with 29.8, while the crime situation worsened in countries like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

But in the past few years, South Africa saw a rise in murders. By 2017, the murder rate was again above 35 people per 100,000, and official police numbers show that last year the number reached 36.4.

In 2018, the number of murders in South Africa increased to the highest level in more than 10 years.

More than 21,000 people were killed in the 12 months to March, some 58 people per day, according to police statistics. This is five times higher than the world average.

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