SO, I THINK I AGREE WITH YOU WHEN THE METRIC IS POPULATION OF A COUNTRY, THANKS TO CHINA AND INDIA. BUT STILL THINK THAT MOST OF THE WORLD IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN DENVER FOR AMERICANS. MY FOCUS IS THE INCREASED RISK YOU HAVE BEING AN AMERICAN IN OVER 50% OF THE WORLD. ANYWAY, THANKS FOR THE INTERESTING ANALYSIS.
I would actually disagree on both accounts whether by population or area, but only because we are looking at it differently. We actually agree on which areas of the world are more dangerous or safer, but not on how each side adds up to 50%. To me, either way it’s added up, it would be much lower than 50% that are more dangerous. By population, even one region China-India-Japan (all of which are astronomically safer than Denver violent crime wise) is almost 40% of the world population alone. Factor in Southeast Asia (and few places there would be more dangerous than Denver) to add to this and you have about ½ of the world population. Even without adding the rest up, it's nearly enough to tip the balance.
By area the discrepancy would be even greater. For example, as you pointed out, it may be true that the largest cities in Russia may pose a greater risk, but then again the large cities in Russia cover less than 1% of the land area. You would have to add (all or most of) the border regions as well. As with Colorado, most of the land area of the world is actually rural or unpopulated, and the risk of violent crimes in sparsely or unpopulated areas is pretty low in most of the world.
To sum it up, I think it would be fair to say that most of the dangerous areas of the world are the big cities in Latin America, the big cities in Africa as well as much of the rural areas in Africa as well (especially in war torn regions) and those other areas in war torn regions (especially civil war) and we would agree on this. However, my statement was never meant to be a city to city comparison, but rather a city to the entire rest of the world comparison.
Using Mexico as a good example, the country overall has a high crime rate, but most of the crime is in the big cities, border regions and some rural areas. Any of those places would be many times riskier than Denver. On the other hand, I would still not hesitate to make the statement that most of Mexico (not cities and the other mentioned places) is still safer than Denver.
Whenever I go somewhere, worldwide, including in the United States, my first priority is almost always to get out of the city ASAP (even in safe cities). Seldom do I spend more than a day in any large city when I travel and usually it’s less time than that though there have been exceptions (Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Agra and Madrid for example). It is true that some rural areas in the world are dangerous (such as parts of Africa and Latin America and war zones as mentioned above), but these are the exception rather than the rule.
Even in some place like El Salvador, you can get out of the city quickly and into the mountains. I seriously doubt that anyone’s going to be waiting for me on some mountain top waiting to rob the odd climber that may pass through every month or two.
Anyway, like you I hesitate to post anything negative in these regions. There are few places I’ve travelled to that I don’t have a desire to go back to. High crime rates vs. low crime rates aren’t always the only consideration either. Personally, I have no desire to go back to Agra or Delhi even if they are considered safe. On the flip side, I found the people of El Salvador to be the warmest and friendliest in all of Latin America. Nairobi is probably my least favorite place and perhaps the least friendly that I’ve been to (and not only because someone tried to steal our packs and me met someone who was robbed), but Budadiri (Uganda), which really isn’t that far away is by far and away the friendliest place I have been (even including rural Nepal).
A few comments:
AGREE, but would include Panama (especially the Darien Gap and surrounding region)
I did my post on my lunch break so didn’t have a map in front of me or that much time, but you are absolutely correct. The Darien Gap is surely the most dangerous area of all of rural Central America.
Russia mainly west of the Urals (still a pretty big area) and especially near the Georgian border
As mentioned, most of the crime is in the big cities which cover less than 1% of the area.You could certainly add the border regions as well (especially Georgia, but others as well). The majority of rural Russia tends to be rather safe (violent crime wise) which is most of the country. I never had experience with crime in Russia, but I am not fond of the big cities there.
Maybe parts of Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, and The Gambia are safer
Perhaps much (not all) of Cameroon as well.
Iraq -- AGREE, except for parts of Kurdistan.
I’ve been told by both some of the Iraqis and Turks that the PKK in the region is probably more active than the US is willing to admit.
AGREE, although Colombia and Venezuela are pretty big chunks, at least it seemed like it when I was there.
Yes. If interested, believe it or not, Colombia has recently become safer than some other South America for tourist (at least the ones avoiding the drug trade). Most of the danger is currently confined to fairly small areas which can be avoided and you still have to be careful. When we were in Venezuela in 1996, it was considered one of the safest countries in South America, now it is one of the most dangerous.
AGREE/DISAGREE -- like I said above, I think nearly all of Central and West Africa is more dangerous. Much of Libya and Algeria, in my opinion, are certainly not safer, especially now that certain breakaway and terrorist factions operate in southern Algeria, and those are two of North Africa's biggest countries.
I haven’t been to either and big changes have happened in Libya in recent months so my info is probably out of date. At last report from friends though, most of the country is considered safe. Algeria seems to have so many mixed reports that it’s hard to sort them all out. Personally, I would go there.
There are still several areas in West Africa that I would still go to.
I've traveled throughout the Gulf, of course with the exception of Saudi, and it seemed very safe, especially UAE and Oman. However, Yemen is easily more dangerous, Israel and the Occupied Territories are arguably more dangerous, depending on your metric, open warfare is happening in parts of Syria (that doesn't happen in Denver!), and Lebanon, while safe while I was there in 2010, can change at the drop of a pin thanks to internal political divisions, proximity to Israel, and the presence of Palestinian camps.
You are absolutely right and I strongly agree
. As mentioned I wrote the post quickly and didn’t list every country and didn’t get all of them. I certainly should have listed Yemen, Israel and agree with all the other ones on the list.
I still don’t think all of these would add up to close to half the world though. If you marked them all in red on a world map, it wouldn’t be close to half. You could probably still be fair and color entire countries like Afghanistan, South Africa or Congo red, but you couldn’t color entire countries like Russia or even Mexico in red (but they would have red areas marked), at least in my opinion.
Hope you found this interesting.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.