How safe or unsafe is Brazil really?

How safe is Brazil for tourists?

After we have heard so much bad about Brazil and everyone has said to us “Watch out!” it is time to do some research to get a picture of how dangerous Brazil really is. We are also aware that the country is only based on the crime statistics published by the country itself and the dark figure is probably higher. But we also assume that tourists usually report a theft, robbery or assault more often than the locals themselves because most tourists have insurance or should report the loss of documents and therefore almost do not come around the message drum. With the locals it can look naturally differently – however we assume at the present time simply times that the crime statistics are relatively realistic

The crime statistics in direct comparison

As in the articles on Security in Mexico and Security in Colombiawe would like to take again a comparison with in the article to get once a feeling for how dangerous Brazil really is. As a comparison we take Germany,the supposed Caribbean dream Jamaica and of course the key figures from Brazil. 

We always like to take Jamaica here because we felt very unsafe in Jamaica, but no one ever talks about the problems in this country. So we think Jamaica is a good comparison to just make it clear that there are other regions that may be more unsafe but the media doesn’t play it up like that.Brazil has over 207 million inhabitants, Jamaica about 3 million inhabitants and Germany about 82.5 million inhabitants. Of the inhabitants, about 86.3% live in the city, in Jamaica it is 55.4% and in Germany about 77.3% On average, Brazilians earn about 8,900 US dollars per capita, Jamaicans 5,400 US dollars per capita and in Germany about 48,000 US dollars per capita. 


These metrics are important from our point of view so that you can just get an idea of how Brazil is doing in a direct comparison and how big this country actually really is.

How safe is Brasilia?

Let’s take a look at the homicide rate. This rate applies in each case always on 100,000 inhabitants. In Brazil in the year 2017 30.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants were registered, in Germany 1.0 and in Jamaica whole 57.0. These figures already show that Jamaica is more dangerous than Brazil in a direct comparison, but this is reported less frequently. In total, 63,895 homicides were registered in Brazil. In Jamaica it was 1,647 and in Germany 813. Please here always the above-mentioned number of inhabitants consider. 

Now let’s look at the rate of physical injuries per 100,000 inhabitants. In Brazil there were 326.8 bodily injuries, in Jamaica 99.8 and in Germany 166.9. What is amazing here is that Jamaica has much less bodily injuries than Germany. This must be due to the fact that one in Jamaica then immediately abknallt before one simply once properly on the face haut (please excuse the expression). In Brazil, unfortunately, assault is relatively widespread. If you stay a year in Brazil, the chance is 0.003268% that you get one on the nut. If you are only here for 14 days, you have to calculate the value again divided proportionally. The chance that one within a week victim of an assault in Brazil is at 0.000062846153846% bzw. bei 14 Tage bei 0.000125692307692%. With these numbers we do not want to make Brazil safer than it really is, but believes one the official numbers the chance to be killed or victim of an assault to become nevertheless relatively small.

Let us still look at the key figures of rapes, robberies and burglaries or thefts of motor vehicles in comparison. Here the consideration takes place also again on 100,000 inhabitants. 

In Brazil there are 24.4 rapes, in Jamaica 21.3 and in Germany 8.7.

How often do armed robberies happen?

For robbery, Brazil is far ahead with 10.1 robberies per 100,000 population, ahead of Germany (0.4) and Jamaica (here we assume that no data is provided)

Brazil also does well in burglaries – though what is surprising is that Germany clearly leads with 528.5 burglaries per 100,000 inhabitants. Here, Brazil has only 126.7 registered burglaries and Jamaica has 45.4. So it’s best to bring your safe that you apparently should have in Germany with you to Brazil!

Brazil leads according to the data from 2015 clearly in the thefts of cars here are stolen about 113.1 cars per year per 100,000 inhabitants to this in direct comparison 21 in Jamaica and 72.8 in Germany. (Is probably also due to the quantities of registered vehicles in Germany)

Our feeling and conclusion about safety in Brazil


We never felt unsafe at any time in Brazil. As mentioned in our country guide and also in the Rio de Janeiro traveloguethere are a lot of people living on the streets, but they do not pose a danger or seem threatening.

It is important that you listen to the locals, maybe avoid buses (we have not heard anything good about this anywhere) and that you do not carry your valuables openly on your body. 

After the comparison of the numbers (we are also aware that these can be falsified) we are also of the opinion that sometimes you should first get involved in a country before you judge the security situation. The often (as in the example Jamaica) the situation is a completely different as which one would like to assume.

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