• Glenn Wilson
    In 2018, there were 29 murders recorded in San Miguel de Allende. [1] The population of San Miguel is about 170,000. [2] So, the 2018 homicide rate for San Miguel is about 17 per 100,000. Whether you think of this as 17 deaths per 100,000 or in the absolute terms of 29 deaths, the loss of human life is tragic.

    Some people in San Miguel are concerned about this homicide rate and the recent murders and make comparisons to murder rates to where they are from or to other places they know. The average overall murder rate in the U.S. is about 5 per 100,000 and in Canada it's under 2 and in Mexico as a whole it is about 19 per 100,000. [3] Of course, these rates vary by city.

    I've heard comments like, "San Miguel is about the same as Kansas City, but at least we're better than St. Louis." [4]


    And, "At least we didn't make the list of most violent cities."
    A few excerpts from that list [5]:
    50. New Orleans, Louisiana, had 36.87 homicides per 100,000 residents.
    46. Detroit had 38.78 homicides per 100,000 residents.
    32. Celaya, Mexico, had 46.99 homicides per 100,000 residents.
    23. Baltimore, Maryland, had 50.52 homicides per 100,000 residents.
    15. St. Louis, Missouri, had 60.59 homicides per 100,000 residents.

    I believe that these comparisons are valid, and useful, and help us to understand and relate to the numbers and to put them into perspective.

    A different perspective

    But, for the purpose of perspective, I would like you to consider another comparison. [6]


    A "random" person in the U.S. is almost 10 times more likely to die from heart disease than a "random" person in SMA is to be murdered. The same is true for cancer. And a lot of heart disease can be prevented through diet and other healthy practices [7], as can a lot of chronic disease risk––diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and cancer. [8][9]

    I appreciate all feedback and comments and links to better statistics.

    Notes and sources:
    [1] Murders in San Miguel Becoming More Frequent, More Public
    [2] San Miguel de Allende 2015 Census Estimate
    [3] List of countries by intentional homicide rate
    [4] 1998 was the least deadly year in Cincinnati. What can we learn from it?
    [5] These were the 50 most violent cities in the world in 2018
    [6] Mortality in the United States, 2017
    [7] How Not to Die from Heart Disease
    [8] From Adequate Nutrition to Optimum Nutrition
    [9] The Actual Benefit of Diet vs. Drugs
  • Glenn Wilson
    Two points I should have made clearer.

    1. 29 deaths from murder in 2018 is 29 too many.

    2.Using the CDC statistics for the US population (so not entirely accurate, but reasonable for the sake of discussion) about 1000 people probably died in San Miguel in 2018. 29 of those deaths were from murder. What about the 971 other deaths?
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