Countries with larger populations do not always equate to higher murder rates. While searching for crime statistics for Barbados I came across the Royal Barbados Police Force 2013 Annual Report. Listed on Page 33 was a “Crimes Against The Person” table. The table lists totals for several crimes, including murder, from 2009 to 2013. I started tracking the number of murders reported in the press during 2017 so finding this historical data was beneficial for my own research purposes.
According to the Report, the murder count for 2013 was 24. This piqued my interest. There have been comments in the past, and even recently, around the number of murders in Barbados and that it’s not as bad as other countries like Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana. My research question is: Do countries with larger populations always have higher murder rates in comparison to murder rates in countries with smaller populations? The answer, at least for 2013 and for 10 select Caribbean countries, is NO.
Based on the above data, it’s clear that countries with large populations don’t always equate to higher murder rates. Smaller countries can have higher murder rates as well. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Lucia all have populations that are smaller than Barbados but murder rates that are higher.
A note on methodology and data sources: The above murder rates were based on the number of murders per 100,000. The calculation used was: (Number of Murders / Population) X 100,000 = Murder Rate (taken from here). Population values were obtained from the World Bank via Google queries. Murder values were obtained via Google queries from either online newspapers or government related entities. The year 2013 was arbitrarily chosen, as that was the most recent year in the RBPF annual report (recall that my original focus was murder stats for Barbados). Also, the number of Caribbean countries (10) was arbitrarily chosen.