There were 468,000 homicides around the world in 2010.  More than a third (36 per cent) of those are estimated to have occurred in Africa, 31 per cent in the Americas, 27 per cent in Asia, 5 per cent in Europe and 1 per cent in Oceania. The thing is, when broken down by population size, it turns out that The Americas and Africa have roughly the same homicide rates (between 16 and 17/100,000–which is roughly twice the global average of 6.9 homicides per 100,000 people). Those peaceful Europeans? About half the global average.

Those figures come from an exhaustive new study on global homicides compiled by the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes, which also published this map.

There are sorts of interesting facts, factoids and figures about how murders occur and where they occur. It turns out people in the Americas are two thirds more likely than Europeans to kill each other with a gun rather than than a sharp object. Also, by far the most murder victims in the world are men. But in domestic violence cases, by far the number of victims are women.

Maybe one of the more disturbing, though probably not surprising, findings was just how quickly homicide rates are shooting up in central America. The first map is from 2005. The second 2010.

Drug wars are obviously not for a country’s  homicide rate.

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