Homicide – International Comparisons

International comparisons
Comparing official crime rates across countries is very difficult because of the wide variations
in what is classed as a crime, and differences in reporting practices. However, the homicide
figures are deemed to be broadly comparable.
The European figures published in 2010 give comparative homicide rates averaged for 2006
– 2008. Scotland’s figure is 2.17 per 100,000 which places it as the second highest in Western
Europe, just behind Finland and only below Lithuania and Estonia of the Eastern European
states. The only good news is that the most recent figure (2009-10) of 1.53 per 100,000
would move Scotland down the table by five or six places. (The three year average would be
about 1.87).

Figure 7: Comparative Homicide Rates Across European Countries (2006-08)


Source: Eurostat (2010) Statistics in focus: Crime and Criminal Justice 58/2010 Cynthia Tavares
and Geoffrey Thomas. Luxembourg: European Communities. [SCCCJ 2011]

Country Comparative homicide rate per 100,000 population 2006-2008
Lithuania 8.76
Estonia 6.60
Finland 2.34
Bulgaria 2.27
Scotland 2.17
Romania 2.08
Czech Republic 2.03
Ireland  (Eire) 2.00
Belgium 1.97
Slovakia 1.68
Northern Ireland 1.52
Hungary 1.52
Portugal 1.46
France 1.37
England and Wales 1.35
Poland 1.29
Denmark 1.22
Italy 1.13
Sweden 1.06
Greece 1.04
Spain 1.02
Netherlands 1.02
Germany 0.84
Slovenia 0.78
Austria 0.61

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