World, Americas

Brazilians fear violence most in world: Global survey

83% of population 'very worried' about becoming victim of violent crime

Gabriel Toueg   | 17.06.2021
Brazilians fear violence most in world: Global survey


Brazilians fear violence the most, according to an annual survey released Thursday that measures the levels of peace and absence of violence in 163 nations.

Although the global average is 60%, in Brazil 83% of the population is “very worried” about becoming a victim of a violent crime.

The Global Peace Index 2021 was released by the independent Australian think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). It covers 99.7% of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources.

Violence is of greater concern than health among Brazilians.

For 64% of the country’s population, violence is seen as a greater risk to safety than health, even during the coronavirus pandemic. The survey was conducted between January 2020 and March 2021.

While some might think Brazil is the most violent among nations surveyed, GPI showed in reality it is more than 20 points below Namibia, which tops the group.

In that southern African nation, 63% said they have suffered a violent incident in the past two years, while in Brazil that figure is 40%.

“Brazil may not be the world’s most violent country, but it has exceptional levels of violence, just like [other countries in] South America,” said IEP's founder and president Steve Killelea.

He said the fear of violence in Brazil could be related to levels of reported crimes and the fact that people share violent experiences on social networks.

The homicide rate in Brazil has grown, while in 116 nations it has fallen since 2008. According to the Brazilian Forum on Public Security, that occurred even during the pandemic.

In the first half of 2020, more than 25,700 people were killed in Brazil, a 7% rise during the same period of 2019.

Brazil also goes against trends in the perception of security.

While worldwide 75% of people said they are as safe or more secure than five years ago, in Brazil 58% said they feel more insecure when compared to the same period.

Globally, the average level of peacefulness has deteriorated 0.07%, the ninth deterioration in the last 13 years, according to the survey. While 87 countries improved rates, in 73, there were declines.​​​​​​​

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