Another Lying Meme
There’s a picture going around the internet claiming that the United States is 3rd in the world for homicides. Once again Snopes.com is our friend:
(Snopes.com) Statistics compiled by the World Bank for the most recent year available (2012) placed the United States well down the list, behind dozens of other countries, in the rate of intentional homicides. Likewise, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNDOC) study on intentional homicides places the United States as 110th on a list of countries ranked (from highest to lowest) by intentional homicide rate. If we considered only the absolute number of murders (and not the murder rate), the United States would rank somewhat high among all the countries in the world, but the U.S. would still only be eighth (not third) on that list, and using an absolute number for this form of comparison is a very poor metric. (The United States is the world’s third-largest country in terms of population, so all other factors being equal, one would expect the U.S. to have the third-highest number of murders for that reason alone.)
Broadly, the ten countries with the highest murder rates in the world are Honduras, Venezuela, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Swaziland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Africa, and Colombia, while the United States doesn’t crack the top hundred.
But, but, but……. it’s on the internet, it fits my world view, so it must be true! It’s just gots to be true.