Intentional homicides (per 100,000 people)

Definition: Intentional homicides are estimates of unlawful homicides purposely inflicted as a result of domestic disputes, interpersonal violence, violent conflicts over land resources, intergang violence over turf or control, and predatory violence and killing by armed groups. Intentional homicide does not include all intentional killing; the difference is usually in the organization of the killing. Individuals or small groups usually commit homicide, whereas killing in armed conflict is usually committed by fairly cohesive groups of up to several hundred members and is thus usually excluded.

Description: The map below shows how Intentional homicides (per 100,000 people) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Honduras, with a value of 84.29. The country with the lowest value in the world is San Marino, with a value of 0.00.

Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime's International Homicide Statistics database.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: In some regions, organized crime, drug trafficking and the violent cultures of youth gangs are predominantly responsible for the high levels of homicide. There has been a sharp increase in homicides in some countries, particularly in Central America, are making the activities of organized crime and drug trafficking more visible. Greater use of firearms is often associated with the illicit activities of organized criminal groups, which are often linked to drug trafficking. Knowledge of the patterns and causes of violent crime are crucial to forming preventive strategies. Young males are the group most affected by violent crime in all regions, particularly in the Americas. Yet women of all ages are the victims of intimate partner and family-related violence in all regions and countries. Indeed, in many of them, it is within the home where a woman is most likely to be killed. Data on intentional homicides are from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which uses a variety of national and international sources on homicides - primarily criminal justice sources as well as public health data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization - and the United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems to present accurate and comparable statistics. The UNODC defines homicide as "unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person." This definition excludes deaths arising from armed conflict.

Limitations and Exceptions: Statistics reported to the United Nations in the context of its various surveys on crime levels and criminal justice trends are incidents of victimization that have been reported to the authorities in any given country. That means that this data is subject to the problems of accuracy of all official crime data. The survey results provide an overview of trends and interrelationships between various parts of the criminal justice system to promote informed decision-making in administration, nationally and internationally. The degree to which different societies apportion the level of culpability to acts resulting in death is also subject to variation. Consequently, the comparison between countries and regions of "intentional homicide", or unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person, is also a comparison of the extent to which different countries deem that a killing be classified as such, as well as the capacity of their legal systems to record it. Caution should therefore be applied when evaluating and comparing homicide data.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The definitions used to produce data are in line with the homicide definition used in the UNODC Homicide Statistics dataset. On the basis of these selection criteria and subject to data availability, a long and continuous time series including recent data on homicide counts and rates has been identified or created at country level. Data included in the dataset correspond to the original value provided by the source of origin, since no statistical procedure or modeling was used to change collected values or to create new or revised figures. The intentional killing of a human being by another is the ultimate crime. Its indisputable physical consequences manifested in the form of a dead body also make it the most categorical and calculable. All existing data sources on intentional homicides, both at national and international level, stem from either criminal justice or public health systems. In the former case, data are generated by law enforcement or criminal justice authorities in the process of recording and investigating a crime event. In the latter, data are produced by health authorities certifying the cause of death of an individual. Criminal justice data were collected through UNODC regular collections of crime data from Member States, through publicly available data produced by national government sources and from data compiled by other international and regional agencies, including from Interpol, Eurostat, the Organization of American States and UNICEF. Public health data on homicides were mainly derived from databases on deaths by cause disseminated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The inclusion of recent data was given a higher priority in the selection process than the length of the time series (number of years covered). An analysis of official reports and research literature is regularly carried out to verify homicide data used by government agencies and the scientific community. As a result of the data collection and validation process, in many countries several homicide datasets have become available from different or multiple sources. Therefore, data series have been selected to provide the most appropriate reference counts.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual