Over the past few days, and even before that, some folks reading this site have expressed concerns about the dangers of living in the Philippines. So many people worry about the rates of murder being high here. I always get e-mails saying – “I’m white, I stick out like a sore thumb. Surely I’ll be murdered!” Well, personally, I just don’t believe the rhetoric. I believe, honestly that there is a lot of talk like this, but I feel that the reality does not match the rumors.
Because of my feelings, I decided to put my gut to the test and see if I was right. I took it upon myself to do a little research. I am writing this part of the post before even doing the research, so if my feeling is wrong, you will know it when you read the results of my research below. So, let’s have a look! We will look at murder rates in the Philippines, and compare that to other locations around the world. For our purposes, we will base the numbers on the year 2004, since later figures may not yet be totally accurate.
|Murders per Million Residents||127.5||66.8||28.9||78.2|
So, my feelings were pretty accurate. The murder rate in the Philippines is similar to that in California. It is lower than in Louisiana. Certainly it is quite a bit higher than in London, but I expected that since gun control is quite strong in the UK. Personally, I don’t feel that such a murder rate is excessive, especially when compared with other spots. Of course, even one murder is too many… but I am talking in relative terms here.
Remember also that 2004 was a hotly contested election year here in the Philippines. Murder here skyrockets during an election year.
Figures quoted above I combed from various government websites and newspaper sites on the net. The numbers are rounded so they are not 100% perfect, but this is for representation purposes only.