Mexico safety is slowly improving. The country ranked one hundred-twenty-seventh globally in the Legatum Prosperity Index 2018 Safety and Security Sub-Index out of 149 countries studied.
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. 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.
For a comprehensive summary of personal safety in Mexico, read our article, “The Truth About Personal Safety in Mexico.” You can also find out which expat locations are the safest in our Mi Vista blog, “The Top 10 Safest Cities for Expats in Mexico.”
Additional personal safety information is available at this U.S. Department of State website.
Each featured city in our Cities section also has personal safety information specific to each area.