U.S. – Mexico Crime Rate Comparison
Being in the tourism industry in Mexico has been difficult this past year due to all the negative American media reports about the violence in Mexico. Unfortunately those headlines do not mention the relative violence inherent in the USA so people look at Mexico in shock, cancel their trips here and think how lucky they were to have dodged a bullet.
I’d like to reprint the following blog from an American family living here in Mexico who has put together some statistics comparing crime in the USA to crime in Mexico. I think you’ll find this interesting and I hope it will help to put some perspective in place for those who may worry about travel abroad.
I’d also like to remind all gentle readers that I too am an American who has lived here in the Copper Canyon of Mexico for 12 years now, full time, and have yet to see anything violent happen in this area. We run daily tours, transfers and packages through this magnificent area and find we are completely unaffected by any of the horrific stories being broadcast by the news reports. We remind you to keep an open mind when watching the news and to remember that the more ghastly the story, the better the ranking for the news channel. It is sad but true that ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ in that industry.
Below is the blog I’ve reprinted:
You would think right off the bat that surely crime in the United States is far lower on average than it would be in Mexico. At least that’s what more Americans would be inclined to initially believe. As it turns out it depends on what category of crime you are looking at
The numbers fluctuate from year to year but on average they remain within a certain ballpark. If you were to look at total crimes committed in the United States per l00,000 inhabitants the number would be about 4000 per year.
That is to say that abut 4000 Americans out of every 100,000 are victims of some kind of crime each year in the U.S. In Mexico it is about 1500 per 100,000 which are much lower.
If you look at rape statistics you would find that 14 out of 100,000 Mexicans are victims of rape each year. In the U.S. it is about 33 per 100,000. There is also far more theft in the U.S. than in Mexico.
About 120 Mexicans per 100,000 are victims of some kind of theft each year. In the U.S. it is over 2400 per 100,000. Auto theft is also more prevalent in the U.S. 430 per 100,000 vehicles are stolen each year. In Mexico it is about 140 per 100,000.
It is important to remember that maintaining statistics on crimes committed is a little bit of shaky business. Some crimes such as rape and robbery are sometimes not reported to authorities and due to this fact the figures are imperfect. Despite that the stats do give a reliable idea about where things stand in a general way if even if they are not exact.
In view of headlines abut crime and violence along the border, and the State Department’s travel warning concerning travel to Mexico, many people are wondering about the safety of visiting or living in Mexico.
Crime, violence and protests can put a damper on your feelings about being safe in Mexico but one does not have to cancel or alter their travel plans just because the headlines are nasty. Mexico is a big country and it’s incredibly diverse, so violence along the US border won’t have any effect on your plans to travel to the Copper Canyon any more than an earthquake in California would affect people in Chicago.
Most of the violence that has taken place recently is due to conflicts between drug cartels and the Mexican authorities. As a visitor or immigrant, you are in little danger of having trouble as long as you follow the same common sense safety precautions you would follow any where in the world you traveled and don’t get involved with drugs.
Follow this link to see the list for Total Overall Crimes by Country - Mexico is at number 12 while the USA is at number 1.