Oakland might be one of the deadliest cities in the U.S., but you’re more than seven times more likely to be murdered in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula.
A new animated map shows murder rates around the world, using the most recently available data. A third of the world’s murders in 2012 were in Latin America, even though less than a tenth of the global population lives there.
“We started with Latin America because that’s one of the very few regions in the world that had this upward violence trend,” says Renata Giannini, program officer at Igarape, the Brazilian think tank that created the map.
“We understand that homicide is a very good indicator about how widespread violence is, and the kind of feelings and insecurity that people are subject to,” she says. “We wanted to draw attention to that, and provide information about it–the trends, the profiles of victims, how they’re assassinated, as a first step towards doing something about this issue.”
Fourteen of the 20 countries in the world with the highest homicide rates are in Latin America. As in countries like the U.S., most victims are young, poor, and black, and most murders are concentrated in small areas. In Bogota, Columbia, 98% of murders happen at 2% of street addresses.
It’s something that hasn’t necessarily gotten much attention in the past–in part because some governments have been reluctant to publicize the embarrassing statistics. But Igarape hopes to change that.
“We wanted to make something innovative, visual, and engaging,” Giannini says. “The way we perceive information now is different, and we thought by providing this tool that is easily accessed, we could bring more attention to the issue–not only specialists, but also policymakers and the public in general.”