Australia, not South Africa, the leading country for burglaries

And the leading country for burglaries in the world is…

Not South Africa. It’s Australia. Even New Zealand appears before South Africa. See The statistics site appears to be credible and authoritative, with reviews from the BBC and NY Times and others.

Looks like Clyde Rathbone better emigrate back to Durban.

Ok, but let’s not kid ourselves, SA is most likely (and unfortunately) a leader when it comes to violent crime. But I find these stats are interesting none-the-less if you consider the respective images of Australia and South Africa when it comes to crime — no doubt exacerbated by the expat-emigration winge syndrome we all know so well.

So now the Aussies are vying for our status as the number one crime country. Why do they have to beat us in everything?!?! (Ta Derek).

Update: I emailed some close friends about this (I’m such a little activist) and thought I’d share some of the responses — they’re quite funny:

Marije: probably because they don’t lock their doors.
Derek: those f*&#ers! beat us at everything!!!
Jax: Matt, this is false journalism! Of course Australia is number one, if you base the stats on per capita. We have a much bigger population so it evens out. Even Finland and Denmark are ranked before us!
Grant: Well, the places where you get your hands chopped off are quite far down the list, so maybe…
Murray: Interesting, however to think that Oz people would actually report a crime as something would be done by it.
Jem: Love it! Thanks. Made my non-emigrating day.
I trust those statistics as much as I trust leaving my gate open in

Comments (14)

  1. Grant Pierrus wrote::

    Cool post. Gives us South African’s some perspective on crime.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 10:04 am #
  2. Guy McLaren wrote::

    Is this because South Africans don’t bother to report the crimes if they don’t have insurance. OR Could it be the incident book vs actual Dockets?

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 10:18 am #
  3. Gregor wrote::

    Hmm, but, and I’m just mentioning this so that we are ahead of Aussie at something at least, when it comes to violence we still thrash them…here another set of stats

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 10:43 am #
  4. Nic wrote::

    Matt, I think you freaking Rock, Can I repost this on SA Rocks?? how do you feel?? You’d be added to the supporters list and you could even add SA Rocks to your blogroll if you felt so inclined!!!

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 11:10 am #
  5. matt wrote::

    @ Nic: of course you can.

    @ Gregor: thanks Gregor — yep nice to know we can still win some things against the Aussies.

    @ Grant: yeah it does give some perspective, doesn’t it. Some hope to cling on too!!! 🙂

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 11:54 am #
  6. David wrote::

    Don’t kid yourself, this just shows how stats can be manipulated. It also shows that nobody is as blind as the man who does not want to see!!

    The fact that almost every country barring SA on that top 20 list is a 1st world country says everything. In all those countries (I have personally visited 11 out of the 20) the lack of an informal housing sector and an effective police force means that most housebreaking will be reported.

    Also, the majority of people in those countries actually live in houses.

    Really ridiculous that people can be so ignorant as to actually BELIEVE that Australia and even Denmark, UK and New Zealand have a higher burglary incident rate than SA.

    Look at the list again and compare the actual figures with countries that have a massive informal housing sector e.g. India, Thailand, and closer to home Zambia, Zimbabwe etc.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 12:48 pm #
  7. Gregor wrote::

    Nic…what about my stats? Not SA Rocks worthy? 😛

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm #
  8. Rodrigo wrote::

    Tried emailing this but couldn’t find your email in the contact details. These stats are absolute crap. I’m a SA-born Argentine. I’ve lived in those two countries, and the UK. Argentina and SA have far more crime than the UK and Arg isn’t even on the list. Neither are Brazil or Mexico, which have some of the highest criminal rates in the world. Como on, whoever made these stats needs to learn their maths or has some kind of odd agenda.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 5:04 pm #
  9. Ray H wrote::

    Awesome site … great source of news stories.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm #
  10. matt wrote::

    I have to say — I find it hard to believe that Finland, of all places, is in the top 5.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 5:16 pm #
  11. Derek wrote::

    “Er…Mr President, polls show 65% of the population dont’ want you to invade Iraq/Lesotho/Iran.” “Hogwash! You went and asked them on Sunday after church, these are irrelevant!”

    Good to publish these stats, the debate now needs to move to how this data is collated. Now THAT will be even more useful, can we learn something from the countries that over-report?

    Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 6:16 pm #
  12. J wrote::

    Also, these are for 1998-2000. There’s a good deal more shit now seven years later buddy ! The most of it in SA.

    Friday, May 25, 2007 at 6:44 pm #
  13. matt wrote::

    @ J — yep, very good point.

    Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 7:23 pm #
  14. Barb wrote::


    I am a South African living in NZ. All very interesting stats. Perhaps a survey should be conducted in these “high burglary” countries and include the question – how many of you have been burgled in the middle of the night at knife/gun point.

    Friday, August 10, 2007 at 3:58 am #

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