Mean streets. Homicides per 100,000 population, 50 highest cities*, 2016 or latest. The middle of the list is dominated by Brazil: the world’s second-biggest cocaine consumer is home to half of all cities in the ranking. That mostly reflects its large population. During 2016, violence shifted from place to place within Brazil: the murder rate fell in the largest cities, but increased in smaller ones. In Maraba and Viamão, homicides rose by 20% in a year, whereas in São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city, murders fell by 55% from 2014 to 2015. Unlike in Mexico and Central America, there is evidence of a slight overall improvement: the national homicide rate fell from 29 per 100,000 in 2014 to 27 in 2015, the latest year for which data are available. Nonetheless, by sheer virtue of its size, Brazil reigns as the world’s overall murder capital: 56,212 people were killed there in 2015. Only two countries outside Latin America contain cities in the top 50: the United States and South Africa. In America, the only rich country on the list, a spike in homicides propelled two more cities, Detroit and New Orleans, to join St Louis and Baltimore, which also figured on 2015’s list. Each has a rate that is around ten times the national average of 4.9 homicides per 100,000 people. South Africa is the only country outside the Americas in this ranking. Two new cities, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City, have been added to the list, mainly because data collection is improving in the country. The homicide rate in South Africa climbed by 5% last year, though other violent crime dropped.