Stabbing Deaths by Country

Knife-related crimes and death by stabbing are some of the most widespread and frequently occurring means of homicide, so much so that in 2017, knife-related homicides made up 22% of all homicides. Knife crimes and stabbing deaths are more common in countries with strict restrictions on firearms, making up about 40% of Europe’s total homicides. This is even more true in Asia, where countries like China are notorious for knife-related crimes.

Deaths by stabbing are not caused only by knives, but by other sharp objects like scissors. These are a lot more rare and infrequent because it is quite easy to get access to a knife, as most households have them in their kitchens. Furthermore, a country with high poverty and poor law enforcement has higher risks of knife-related crimes which subsequently results in high numbers of stabbing deaths.

Stabbing

The use of tools of warfare, or even simply tools for everyday survival like blades, have been forever present throughout human history. Knife-like tools have been used by homo sapiens for thousands of years, with the first single-edged knife being made in the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago. Stabbing, the method of wounding or killing someone with a sharp object or knife, has thus become a forever-present act in human history. From wars fought using swords and other forms of blades to the assassination of Julius Caesar of the Roman Empire who was stabbed in the back, the violent act has unfortunately been common throughout human civilization. In some cultures, the act of stabbing is considered an art form, with warriors like the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire and their unique fighting skills and swordsmanship, to the Samurais of Japan, elite swordsmen of the Shogunate. All of which have placed much emphasis on the art of war and the honor attached to death by the blade – similarly to various cultures around the world, the Vikings for example could only reach Valhalla, the hall of the slain, by dying in battle. In Japan, for instance, Seppuku or harakiri, roughly translated to the cutting of the belly, is a Japanese form of ritual suicide originally reserved for the Samurai to die with honor, by killing themselves, rather than fall into the hands of their enemy. It was also used as a way for the Samaurai to restore honor if they brought shame upon their family or themselves.

Mass Stabbings

A mass stabbing is a single incident where multiple victims are harmed or killed in a knife-enabled crime. Stabbings and mass stabbings occur all around the world, even in nations with exceptionally low crime rates such as Japan, and in other developed nations with overall low crime rates such as Canada. One also sees a trend with the types of tools used during a murder in different nations with how easily available guns and other weapons are. In the United States for instance, a highly developed nation, gun deaths are second in the world due to the easy availability of guns and a prominent gun culture. While other nations, where guns are not easy to get hold of, opt for other tools such as knives, hence nations like the United Kingdom (UK), China, and Japan see high levels of knife crime compared to gun violence.

Japan Mass Stabbing

Overall, crime in Japan is low and it ranks as one of the nations with the lowest rates of crime worldwide. However, incidents of stabbing and mass stabbings are unfortunately not uncommon. Throughout the years, numerous stabbings have taken place: in 2016 for example, the Sagamihara stabbings took place killing 19 people, and in Tokyo in August 2021 for instance, a mass stabbing took place with 10 people injured. Some claim the somewhat commonplace of stabbings – though much lower levels of violence to other developed nations – within Japanese society is linked to the cultural practice of honor suicides and the use of a katana in the process. However, as with any societal issue, various factors are indeed involved. The cultural aspect is only one point, others consist of many of the attackers having experienced high levels of isolation, with high levels of social isolation common across Japan, and many experiencing low points in their lives, like the death of a parent, when the attacks have been committed.

UK Mass Stabbing

Knife crime within the UK has seen a rise in recent years, with the Thames Valley Police noting a 10% increase, to 49,027 offenses in 2022, from 44,642 in 2021. One of the reasons, as is a common factor worldwide, is the yearly increase in poverty rates within the UK. In London for instance, between 2020 and 2021, 80% of more crimes were reported in the most income-deprived areas. This is further made apparent by London gradually becoming the watch theft capital of the world, due to the vast difference between rich and poor. This is sided by a degradation of the public institutions, like schools and youth clubs for example, all of which are largely underfunded or being closed due to lack of funds.

Alongside the increase in poverty rates and degradation of public institutions, one also notes the poor prison reform system with 75% of former inmates reoffending within nine years of release and 39.3% within the first twelve months. All of which leads to individuals engaging in crime and later participating in the culture of knife-carrying for protection. The approach in the UK is very much reactionary, increasing police support and presence, rather than preventative and seeking to target the causes of knife crime from its roots with grassroot community action and tackle crime altogether. One other aspect that is largely unacknowledged is the societal aspect: young men and women are fearful for their safety and carry a knife as means of protection. This can lead to more knife violence, causing a perpetual cycle of knife crime – as one individual is killed and another person or group seeks revenge, creating a cycle of retaliatory killings.

China Mass Stabbing

China, similarly to Japan, has a big issue with mass stabbings. Such incidents have led to one-hundred deaths in the past decade. Mental health has been dubbed the central cause of these mass stabbings. Similar to that of Japan with some attackers suffering from isolation and emotional trauma, in China it has been noted that attackers suffer from unidentified mental illnesses which are not treated due to a lack of mental health infrastructure. Some claim that mass stabbings in China, along with other such attacks worldwide, are committed due to the urge to enact revenge on society for the wrongdoing the perpetrator felt they experienced. Due to China’s strict gun laws – putting firearms out of place for ordinary people as many other countries do – weapons such as knives become the tool of choice to wreak havoc.

If you would like to learn more about stabbing deaths by country please refer to the data in the map and charts.

Stabbing Homicide Rate by Country

Antigua and Barbuda

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.11

#4 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

9.19

#20 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.97

#26 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

1.9

#64 in the World

Argentina

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.6

#19 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.35

#29 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.61

#27 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

3.64

#35 in the World

Australia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.27

#23 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.87

#67 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.58

#43 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.18

#91 in the World

Austria

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.23

#24 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.72

#68 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.81

#44 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.13

#92 in the World

Azerbaijan

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.9

#25 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.27

#41 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.56

#29 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.27

#93 in the World

Barbados

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.35

#26 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

14.27

#15 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.02

#17 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

4.3

#29 in the World

Belize

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.03

#5 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

25.65

#6 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.5

#6 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

15.04

#10 in the World

Bhutan

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.56

#20 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.46

#42 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.38

#30 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.1

#98 in the World

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.67

#27 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.31

#52 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.3

#45 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.26

#99 in the World

Canada

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.61

#28 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.97

#53 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.9

#47 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.5

#104 in the World

Chile

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.87

#21 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

4.84

#31 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

1.82

#68 in the World

Colombia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

4.01

#7 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

22.64

#8 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.53

#13 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

24.8

#4 in the World

Costa Rica

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.57

#22 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

11.19

#17 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.43

#18 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

6.94

#23 in the World

Croatia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.32

#29 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.97

#70 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.89

#48 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.34

#105 in the World

Cyprus

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.75

#30 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.24

#54 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.66

#49 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.51

#107 in the World

Czech Republic

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.35

#31 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.72

#71 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.72

#50 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.15

#108 in the World

Dominica

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.56

#6 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

20.84

#9 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

3.53

#40 in the World

Dominican Republic

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.19

#9 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

8.86

#24 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.36

#19 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

11.28

#13 in the World

Ecuador

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2

#13 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

7.78

#25 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.87

#31 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

5.5

#25 in the World

El Salvador

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.24

#10 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

35.5

#1 in the World

Greece

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.23

#32 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.75

#74 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.36

#54 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.35

#121 in the World

Grenada

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.22

#2 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

12.44

#16 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.37

#7 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.66

#122 in the World

Guatemala

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.44

#33 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

17.47

#14 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

4.96

#10 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

28.23

#3 in the World

Guyana

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

7.25

#1 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

19.96

#10 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

9.97

#1 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

10.22

#14 in the World

Honduras

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.78

#3 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

36.33

#2 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.58

#3 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

21.22

#5 in the World

Hong Kong

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.08

#34 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.29

#75 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.22

#55 in the World

Hungary

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.33

#35 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.83

#76 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.77

#56 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.07

#124 in the World

Iceland

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.29

#36 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.47

#57 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.36

#20 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.06

#125 in the World

Jamaica

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.8

#14 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

44.95

#1 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

7.58

#2 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

10.06

#15 in the World

Jordan

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.36

#37 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.2

#58 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.54

#61 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

1.51

#72 in the World

Kyrgyzstan

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.75

#38 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.75

#59 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.55

#62 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.4

#134 in the World

Malta

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.45

#39 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.59

#61 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.45

#65 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.45

#144 in the World

Mexico

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.03

#11 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

28.37

#4 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.01

#4 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

15.55

#11 in the World

Moldova

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.57

#40 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.31

#47 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.24

#37 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.29

#146 in the World

Mongolia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.92

#41 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.98

#30 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.16

#22 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.22

#148 in the World

Montenegro

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.32

#42 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.87

#48 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.94

#66 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.99

#149 in the World

Netherlands

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.23

#43 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.62

#83 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.51

#69 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.23

#153 in the World

Oman

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.12

#44 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.27

#85 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.23

#71 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.03

#158 in the World

Paraguay

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.23

#15 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.74

#27 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.97

#38 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

7.11

#22 in the World

Saint Kitts and Nevis

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.76

#12 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

18.8

#12 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

10.99

#17 in the World

Saint Lucia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.72

#16 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

28.32

#5 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.36

#8 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

9.14

#19 in the World

Serbia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.32

#45 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.02

#64 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.52

#76 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.82

#172 in the World

Slovenia

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.38

#46 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.53

#91 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.57

#78 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.18

#176 in the World

Spain

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.29

#47 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.64

#93 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.5

#80 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.13

#178 in the World

Suriname

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

4.26

#8 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

9.38

#21 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.43

#16 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

2.89

#58 in the World

Switzerland

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.14

#48 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.54

#94 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.62

#82 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.18

#181 in the World

Tajikistan

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.13

#49 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.91

#95 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.21

#83 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

0.18

#183 in the World

The Bahamas

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.03

#17 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

18.56

#13 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.44

#9 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

19.72

#8 in the World

United States of America

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.52

#50 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.52

#28 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.6

#24 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

4.12

#33 in the World

Uruguay

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STABBING HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.16

#18 in the World

INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE RATEhelp

9.7

#23 in the World

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.06

#25 in the World

GUN DEATH RATEhelp

4.02

#34 in the World

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help

0

#51 in the World

help

0

#97 in the World

help

0

#86 in the World

help

0

#195 in the World