Mexico safety is slowly improving. The country ranked one hundred-third globally on the Legatum Institute’s Safety and Security Sub-Index out of 142 countries studied. Legatum also found that 54.2 percent of the country’s residents said they felt safe walking at night, lower than the global average of about 61 percent.
Overall, Mexico’s homicide rate is one of the highest in the world with an average of 21.5 reported homicides per 100,000 people, far higher than the 4.7 per 100,000 in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization, which bases its data on aggregated 2012 statistics, the latest available research. Canada’s murder rate is much lower, just 1.6 per 100,000 people. But homicide rates are much higher in areas that experience drug violence.
To put the homicide rates in Mexico in perspective, the murder rate in Washington D.C. is about five times higher than the U.S. average of 4.7, which is higher than Mexico’s overall homicide rate. Oakland, California’s homicide rate is 19.5 per 100,000 people, almost equal to Mexico’s country average.
The U.S. Department of State also makes the point that crime in Mexico varies widely by location. For example, Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán and the home of many expats, reported a homicide rate of only 2.2 per 100,000 people. Aguascalientes, a central Mexico highland city of over 1 million, had a homicide rate of 4.2.
The U.S. Department of State also said that recent statistics show violence is on the rise in central and southern Mexican states, particularly in Guerrero, Michoacán and the State of Mexico.
Additional personal safety information is available at this U.S. Department of State website.