San Salvador is no longer one of the Most Dangerous Cities in the World

By Eddie Vasquez  | Updated on Jan 1st, 2022
San Salvador
the city of San Salvador.

According to the organization Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, San Salvador has not been one of the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world since 2019.

The cities of ElSalvador (in particular the capital city, San Salvador) disappeared from the map of the 50 most violent cities in the world in 2019. In 2015, San Salvador was ranked third. It is an extraordinary result that must be recognized.”

Being out of the top 50 most dangerous cities is great for San Salvador, considering that San Salvador had been part of the list since 2008 and was 3rd in 2015.

San Salvador’s Ranking Since 2013
Year Homicides in San Salvador Rate per 1K Council Rank
2021 N/A N/A N/A
2020 N/A N/A N/A
2019 N/A N/A N/A
2018 906 50.32 24th
2017 1,057 59.06 17th
2016 1,483 83.39 7th
2015 1,918 108.54 3rd
2014 1,067 61.21 13th
2013 780 44.74 27th

The Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice is a civil society organization that emerged in July 2002. The nonpartisan, secular, and independent organization has been creating the list of the top 50 most dangerous cities since 2002.

Safety has Improve in San Salvador

Safety and security have improved in the nation’s capital and the entire country. Thanks to the effort by the Salvadoran police and armed forces, 2021 set a record low in homicides nationally.

Homicides in El Salvador Since 2010
Year Total Homicides Daily Homicides Homicides per 100,000 Inhabitants
2021 1140 3.1 18
2020 1341 3.7 20
2019 2398 6.6 36
2018 3346 9.2 50
2017 3962 10.9 60
2016 5280 14.5 81
2015 6656 18.2 103
2014 3921 10.7 61
2013 2499 6.8 40
2012 2594 7.1 41
2011 4371 12.0 70
2010 4004 11.0 64

The record low in homicides under the Nayib Bukele administration has greatly benefited San Salvador. The nation’s capital is not even the most dangerous city in El Salvador.

Reported Roberto Valencia, author of the book “CARTA DESDE ZACATRAZ,” created a list of the Salvadoran municipalities with the highest and lowest homicide rates in 2021.

Most Dangerous Cities in El Salvador 2021

The most dangerous cities or municipalities in El Salvador in 2021 were are Ciudad Delgado, Apopa, San Salvador, Colon, Ilopango, Mejicanos, Ahuachapan, San Miguel, Santa Ana, and Tonacatepeque. It is based on the rate of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants and a population of over 100,000 people.

Most Dangerous Places in El Salvador in 2021
Place Population 2021
Rate per 100,000 inhabitants
1 Ciudad Delgado
San Salvador
123,258 45 36.6
2 Apopa
San Salvador
155,466 43 27.6
3 San Salvador
San Salvador
335,982 91 27.0
4 Colon
La Libertad
120,088 26 21.8
5 Ilopango
San Salvador
119,327 21 17.6
6 Mejicanos
San Salvador
135,556 24 17.6
7 Ahuachapan
124,421 20 16.1
8 San Miguel
San Miguel
216,800 26 12.0
9 Santa Ana
Santa Ana
251,095 29 11.5
10 Tonacatepeque
San Salvador
103,096 9 8.7

San Salvador, the capital of the nation, ranks 3rd when the population is over 100,000 people. If we include cities or municipalities with over 50,000 people, San Salvador ranks 8th.

San Salvador
El Salvador’s Capital City.

Can San Salvador stay out of the list?

If the government continues its efforts to fight organized crime, San Salvador can stay out of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world.

The Nayib Bukele territory control plan has implemented strategies in San Salvador that have produced excellent results. The Capital city is the most densely populated area in the country.

The Bukele territorial control plan has only been in effect for 2 1/2 years with positive results. 2020 set a record low in homicides; it was broken again in 2021.

However, the U.S. Government has accused and sanctioned members of the Bukele administration of negotiating a secret truce with gangs to reduce homicides.

If the accusations of a truce are true, then the homicide rate might be in jeopardy.

San Salvador is Safer now!

Safety in San Salvador can improve; there is plenty of room for it. But for now, locals can see a change in how things are in the capital city. Overall, people are optimistic and feel safer in San Salvador.

The city of San Salvador is safer than it was during most of the 2010s. Don’t get me wrong; San Salvador still has areas that are not safe; nevertheless, the hope is that it changes soon.

Salvadorans are extremely happy that San Salvador is not on the list of the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world.