Crime at a Glance

in South Korea

Violent Crime Rates in South Korea

To view data, click on the chart
Source: Extracted from Korean National Police Agency’s Crime Analysis [Beomjoe Bunseok]. Annual report; also you can find another statistics in English version on Korean National Police Agency, statistics in “Archive”

Four offenses were extracted from the source and adjusted to set to UCR Part I violent crime index: Criminal Homicide, Forcible Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault.

(1) Between 1997 and 2000, violent crime rate increased sharply. During that time (December of 1997 to August of 2001), South Korea was under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout program.
(2) Violent crime rate per 100,000 population in 2005 was 476.4, a decrease of 19.9 percent over the 2000 rate.


Six-Year Trends Comparison, Violent Crime Rate in South Korea and the United States, 2000-2005

US Data Source: FBI, The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Part I Index Crime

(1) The estimated rate of Violent Crime (per 100,000 population) for the United States in 2005 was 469.2, a decrease of 7.4 percent over the 2000 rate.
(2) In 2000, South Korea had higher violent crime rate than the United States did (594.5 and 506.5, respectively). Since 2002, the rate for South Korea had been parallel to the rate for the United States.
(3) In detail, violent crime for Korea and the US, however, had been quite different phases each other. In short, one offense, aggravated assault, led to high violent crime rate of South Korea while the other offenses showed lower rates.
To view more specifics, click on charts below.

Ciatation Information (APA 5th):
Byun, S. Violent Crime Rates in South Korea. Retrieved [Access date], from

Criminal Homicide
murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
Forcible Rape
Aggravated Assault

December 24, 2006 - Posted by | Violent Crime


  1. dude Korean rocks dude

    Comment by Ukarumpa | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] someone usually quick to praise Korea’s low violent crime rates, especially compared to the United States, I was surprised to read these numbers: Sex crimes against children in Korea outnumbered those in […]

    Pingback by Korea a Safe Country… Unless You’re a Teen, Apparently | The Marmot's Hole | August 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. now factor in the number of crimes in Korea where blood-money (sorry, bad wording) was paid out and no charges were laid.

    further, factor in the number of sexual assaults, especially rape, that go unreported in Korea. a very recent study was posted on in Korean (but, of course, not reported in the English media) that the rate is 9x what the reported rate is. i don’t think that figure is disputed by very many Koreans. rape in Korea is epidemic.

    finally, factor in the number of violent crimes that happen on the fringe of the U.S. society by gangs and underground mafia(s).

    When you consider all of this, Korea is a much worse country when it comes to violent crimes (check out how many homes have bars on their windows)…

    Comment by bdh | March 17, 2011 | Reply

  4. Now factor in the numbers of sexual assaults and rape that go unreported in the United States (54%). Then consider that 97% of rapists in the United States never spend a day in jail at all (funny how simply reporting a crime to the police doesn’t make them give a shit, eh?)

    Finally, factor in the number of violent crimes that happen on the fringe of Korean society by gangs and underground mafias (hint: bigger percentage than in the United States.

    I envy Koreans for having a portal website that actually posts news about issues like this. God only knows we would take these problems a lot more seriously if the media actually reported on them.

    “And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye?”

    Comment by Schwartz | October 25, 2012 | Reply

  5. Hello, I’m writing from Miami, Florida with my daughter, who is in 6th grade. She has a project to research teen crime rate of South Korea (types of crime, age range amongst teens committing crimes, and general statistics). Can you recommend a good source for this age-specific information? Gratefully, Nadia M.

    Comment by Nadia M. | December 4, 2012 | Reply

  6. Number of crimes is high in Korea. From my experience in research on another topic (abandoned children) it is certain that statistics are only half of the truth. E.g. home invasion including extortion and hostage taking and burglary are a rampant and traditional Korean crime trade for centuries. In addition abduction of children is rampant often with sexual abuse and seldom for ransom. Violent crime among Koreans in terms of assault is about double of that of the USA. There are about 1200 murders per year in Korea which indicates a murder rate per 100’000 population of 2.9 which is lower than the USA at 4 plus but much higher than most European countries as Germany 0.8 or Swizerland 0.7. However, if you are a foreigner in Korea you are mostly save since most crimes in Korea are committed by Koreans against Koreans. The foreigner and crime discussion in Korea is similar to the one in many countries basically along the line more foreigners equal more crime. Look at th statistics it is always more locals that commit crimes by absolute numbers but the proportion of criminals among the number of foreigners is slightly higher than the proportion of in the local population.

    Comment by Anonymous | January 24, 2013 | Reply

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    Pingback by 南韓的殺人案因不執行死刑而增加? | 聯合踹人天地 | July 23, 2013 | Reply

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