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When compared to U.S. data, European cities can be considered much safer in terms of murder rates. Europe does not contain any of the top 50 cities in the world with the highest murder rate. The “deadliest” city in Europe has less than one tenth of the homicides per 100,000 than the U.S. city with the highest homicide rate.
Here are the 10 European cities with the highest homicide rates, according to a report UN Office on Drugs and Crime released in 2019:
10. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Panoramic aerial view of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is the 10th most dangerous city, with a homicide rate of 2.2 per 100,000 for a total of 16 murders in the city. From the window brothels to easily accessible psychedelics (magic mushrooms), tourists aren’t the only one who visit Amsterdam for a night of sin — Amsterdam was ranked the most criminally active municipality in 2018, according to Dutch Review.
9. Budapest, Hungary
Aerial view of Budapest, Hungary
The murder rate in Budapest also came out to be 2.2 per 100,000. The Hungarian Prosecutor’s office reported 99 murders in 2017. Budapest, the capital of Hungary with a population of about 1.75 million, is known for its famous baths and is sometimes called the “Paris of the East.” Still, police reported about 62,870 crimes in 2017.
8. Tampere, Finland
July 2016, urban capture of Tampere (Finland), HDR-technique
Tampere, though notably smaller than the previous two cities with a population of around 236,000, reported a similar homicide rate of 2.2 per 100,000. Finland has some of the highest crime rates of the Nordic countries.
7. Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Aerial view over the City of Belfast along the River Lagan with Lagan Bridge in the foreground, ICC Belfast, Lagan Boat and Victoria Square Dome. Belfast, North Ireland, UK
Belfast, the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland, has a murder rate of 2.4 per 100,000, with a population of about 300,000. A study published in the Irish Times found that the crime rate in the Ireland is only 60 percent that of Northern Ireland. The study found that crime in Northern Ireland had increased tenfold over the crime rate of 1945.
6. Celje, Slovenia
Summer panorama of the old town of Celje, Slovenia
Celje, the third-largest city in Slovenia, had a murder rate of 2.6 per 100,000 in 2017, however it carried a population of only about 38,000 that year within city limits.
5. Debrecen, Hungary
Aerial photo of Reformed Great Church in Debrecen city, Hungary
Debrecen, Hungary’s second-largest city after Budapest, had a murder rate of 3.0 per 100,00 in 2017. A cultural hub to the Hungarian people, the city has a population of around 202,000 people.
4. Marseille, France
Marseille embankment with yachts and boats in the Old Port and Notre Dame de la Garde., Vieux-Port de Marseille.
One of the busiest port cities along the Mediterranean, Marseille has also lent itself to drug trafficking. The French Connection was a route in which heroin was smuggled from Turkey to France through this city and then on to the U.S. and Canada. Though a major tourist destination today, Marseille in 2017 had a murder rate of 3.5 per 100,000 for a population of about 860,000 people.
3. Klaipeda, Lithuania
Klaipeda, Lithuania, at dusk. Old Town and Dane river.
Lithuania’s cities hold the top three slots of the highest murder rates in Europe. Klaipeda had a murder rate of 3.9 per 100,000 in 2017. That same year, Lithuania’s crime rate shot up after the country tightened laws against drunk driving. In 2017 this city had a population of 172,272.
2. Vilnius, Lithuania
The Cathedral Square, main square of the Vilnius Old Town, Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city. Most crimes are reported in Old Town Vilnius, due to the confluence of tourists there, but pickpocketing and thefts of unattended belongings are the most common threat. Vilnius also had a murder rate of 3.9 per 100,000 in 2017. It had a population of about 697,691 that same year.
1. Kaunas, Lithuania
Kaunas, Lithuania: aerial top view of old town and castle in the autumn
Kaunas is the deadliest city in Europe with a significantly higher murder rate of 5.4 per 100,000 as of 2017. Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania, with a population of about 383,764 that same year. This is less than one tenth of the deadliest U.S. city’s murder rate: St. Louis, Mo., had a murder rate of 60.9 per 100,000 in 2018.
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