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Best Places To Live In South America

The Best Places to Live in South America range from promising emerging markets to countries that are going through presidential coups.  Every year publications from around the world list their top places to live and retire for the upcoming year.

Most of these expert reports are written by authors that have never visited most of the locations listed.

By calculating numbers and looking at other reports it is automatically decided where the best places to live in the world are.  Taking surveys of locals of how happy they are is faulty as well.  How many of those locals have actually step foot outside of their own homes?

Living in South America for a span of 10 years periodically throughout my life I have had the pleasure of living in every viable country on the continent.

At times living in countries that aren’t as stable which is one of the reasons this post is being written.

South America is now emerging as a unique place to visit, an incredible place to invest, and an exceptional place to live.  Many entrepreneurs have started looking for the best countries to invest in South America as well (Mac financial software comes in handy for this).  From the world renowned beaches of Brazil to the newly emerged city of eternal spring, South America holds splendors that are left to be explored.

Here are the best places to live in South America:

hindu temple, hindu temple in paramaribo, temples in paramaribo

Hindu Temple in Paramaribo, Suriname

#5 Suriname:

The small country nestled in northeastern South America will impress you as much as any other country.  The diversity of religions and people is so vast one would have though it impossible in a place like Suriname. The most pleasant surprise is how well everyone respects the beliefs and feelings of the many different segments of the population.

Skip what the experts are saying and think about Suriname. The best infrastructure in the region (in the northeast not South America) and a government that hasn’t had any major difficulties since the Dutch left in 1975.

Suriname impressed me thoroughly and was my favorite of all three countries in the Guiana’s.

Being such a small country there are limited opportunities.  For those that are looking for excitement Suriname may be not be the best option.  More than 80% of the country is Amazon rainforest and the heat and humidity is enough to make a beach sweat.  There is also limited connectivity to its neighbors and it possesses a currency that is not readily convertible.

Colonial Architecture Lima

Colonial Architecture in Lima

#4 Peru:

Living in Peru is the best bet for those that are budget conscious.  Even the capital city, Lima, is extremely affordable compared to other countries such as Chile and Brazil.

With the right mix of progress and conservation, Peru is now turning over a new leaf in its effort to join some its more prosperous neighbors.  The country has become more politically stable and it has rebuilt its reputation that was once marred by civil war and terrorism.

The country has an abundance of culture and the people are some of the nicest that one will find on the continent.

Great transportation networks are being built and Lima is a global airline hub thanks to LAN Airlines and the much visited iconic Machu Picchu.

While continuing my search for viable locations for day trading centers in South America, Peru is very high on my list of possibilities.

Easter Island Ahu Tahai

Moai Statues At Easter Island

#3 Chile:

Living in Chile for over 3 months allowed me to get acquainted to the model of prosperity in South America.  The only First World nation on the continent, Chile is an incredibly interesting country that has nothing  but open arms for foreigners.

It is one of the most expensive places to live in South America but one would be surprised at the low cost of housing.

A brand new 3 bedroom condo commanded only $800 a month for rent. An apartment that was centrally located overlooking the beautiful growing capital city of Santiago.

I did forget to mention the snow capped Andes mountains didn’t I.

The country boasts a myriad of options of where to live; from the growing city skyline of Santiago, the adventure rich mountains, the unique coastline, all the way to the majestic south that gives Chile the moniker “The Switzerland of the South.”

Foreigners are flocking to live in Chile for not only opportunity but stability in a world which is becoming increasingly unstable.

Copacabana Beach Rio De Janeiro

Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro

#2 Brazil:

I couldn’t say enough about living in Brazil. Day trading in Brazil from penthouses to lofts in the center of the city, there is something quite distinctive about Rio De Janeiro.

It is the only city that has it all; beaches, mountains, lakes, diversity, and opportunity. The World Cup and the Olympics have launched a massive flow of investment into the country which will only improve the viability and attractiveness for foreigners.

Brazil also is large enough to offer anyone exactly what they are looking for. Much like Rio De Janeiro, everyone from a family to a single man could find a place to call home in Brazil.

With investment rising and the country’s profile increasing around the world, prices unfortunately have increased substantially throughout the country.

The only challenges to Brazil is the language barrier and the cost.  Portuguese, while difficult, can be learned and there are ways to economize in the country. There are no cheaper options than Peru however.

Contrary to popular belief, living in Brazil will not be a safety concern. The government has focused on cleaning up bad neighborhoods and increasing security throughout the country. In the past police in Rio De Janeiro wouldn’t enter many favelas (ghettos) but now are heavily armed to ensure trouble does not persist.

Bear in mind that Sao Paolo still bears safety concerns, use caution when visiting & living in the massive metropolis.


A Panoramic View of Medellin

#1 Colombia:

Now that Colombia has minimized terrorism and persistent drug problems, the positive aspects of the country far outweigh the disadvantages.  The new government has a strong focus on growth and progress has welcomed foreigners.

One of the best cities to live in South America, Medellin, has an incredible amount of civic pride and will leave you astounded by clean streets and nothing but gracious people.

Medellin is still haunted by its dangerous past but as a person that has lived in Medellin in for well over 6 months and plans to return, it is a very unique place to live.  Cost of living is still relatively low and there is perfect weather year round.

Tentative plans have been placed to open a day trading center in Medellin, Colombia as part of The Day Trading Academy.

There is a reason Medellin is called the City of Eternal Spring.

The city also is known as the city of flowers which attests to its beauty.  If an investor buys real estate worth over $200,000 they are granted automatic residency.  Also, if any investment is made over $100,000 the same rule applies.

Colombia’s economy is rapidly expanding with a focus on exports similar to Chile.  This alone can provide the country with an endless amount of opportunities for retirees and young person’s as well.

There aren’t overlying dangers in Colombia but as with any Latin American country it is always best to remain cautious.  Don’t enter into any suspicious behavior and there will be no issues in the country.  This rule applies to any city around the world.

Stay away from the coast as the culture is significantly different than that of interior cities.  The Pacific coast including the region outside of Cali should also be taken with caution.

Bogota is the only large cosmopolitan city in the country approaching 10 million residents (estimated).  If one plans to live in Bogota take cautionary measures that would be taken in any large city.


  1. Nice post Marcello!

    I was in Colombia last year and really liked Medellin as well. Seriously considering going back there later this year and spend a few months.

  2. I’m glad you named Colombia #1 as I’ve had my eye on that country for quite some time now. I originally picked Argentina to learn Spanish, but everyone’s said that Colombian Spanish is by far the “most proper” for those learning the language. I have narrowed it down to Cartagena or Medellin, and I see you’re really leaning more towards the latter. Any other advice is very well appreciated.

    1. I have been to Colombia several times and lived for 3 months in Cartagena last year. Great city, I love it. It is so much different than Medellin though, which is a great city as well. Actually, I plan to move to Colombia within the next 2 years from Southern California. By the way, Spanish schools in Colombia are kinda expensive. You would be much better off learning Spanish in either Ecuador or Nicaragua (good Spanish is spoken in these two countries as well). While the Spanish spoken in Colombia is probably the best in South America, the Spanish spoken in Cartagena is horrible.

      Have a great time in Colombia.

        1. I would think that the best place to learn Spanish would be Spain :) I know it’s not in South America, but if you’re planning on learning Spanish, go to Spain!!!

          1. Technically that is the birth of the language Raul but I found people in Latin America to be much more kind and gracious. There are now better economic opportunities in Latin America and frankly, more people speak with a Latin American accent than they do with a Spanish accent. Thanks for the comment my man.

  3. Could you elaborate on what is wrong with coastal Colombia? I heard only good things about Cartagena. Also, would like to know thoughts on Vina del Mar, Chile if any.

    1. Cartagena is a beautiful city with lots of history and extremely romantic. The culture in the city however would not be conducive to long term living. Its okay for a visit but there is a high level of corruption, crime, and drug activity in the city. The climate can also be unbearable for much of the year. Its a great city to visit but not a great city to live in.

  4. I was in Brazil last year – Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Fortaleza, Jericoacoara. There are no issues there. I stopped multiple times to ask Policia for directions and they were nice and welcoming. I cannot complain. I and my fiancé are planning to move down there in the next year or two.

  5. You made a point mentioning Colombia as a great country to live nowadays. Bogota is also a great place to live. But I have to disagree that it’s tha best country to live in South America. Probably this means that you have never been to Uruguay. Uruguay is also a “first world country” in the continent having better rate of crime, health and education. The cities are safe, well organized, have a good structure without chaos in traffic like in Rio, Sao Paulo and Bogota, it’s definitely the best country to live in South America. Once you have the opportunity to visit there let us know you opinion. (I’m not from Uruguay ! :) )

    1. Daniel I have family in Uruguay an have also visited Uruguay. I base the best countries to live not only on just standard of living and future prospects. In terms of economy I find that Colombia has much further upside potential than Rio de Janeiro. A city like Medellin Colombia provides beautiful weather year round which is very hard to beat. I would still choose Colombia over Uruguay. Thanks for the comments you made some good points. I also would put Medellin way higher as a better place to live than Bogota.

  6. I Live here in Medellin and the only thing that I have to say to all of you is that Medellin is a very dangerous city if you want to come here you should stay at El Poblado, don’t go out for a walk, don’t take a bus, trust to no one, don’t trust to the police, and please do NOT leave El Poblado.

    I’m just a citizen of Medellin and I know how things are here

    1. I lived there for over 6 months and didn’t have the same experience Pablo. It may be because I look more Colombian but I do not think its that serious. Compared to a western nation yes I would say one has to be much more mindful of their surroundings but I don’t think Medellin is that dangerous to be honest. I have been to the barrios and didn’t feel that at all

  7. It’s really hard to comment on any country that a person hasn’t lived in for at least a few years. I lived in England for seven and a place is very different when u have been then over a year.

    1. That is why I normally stay in a location for 3-6 months and sometimes longer Nick. Most of the places I have lived in S. America has been more than 6 months but I do agree with you

  8. I spent a week in Medellin last winter and had planned to stay longer, but ended up having to return to the US due to a family emergency. I loved the city and the people and will definitely be going back for a longer stay. I’d hate for people to be discouraged based on Pablo’s comments. I stayed in the Estadio area and loved it. I walked all over the city, took the metro, buses and taxis. I met lots of great people, ate fabulous food and had a wonderful time. I had nothing but positive experiences while I was there. All of this traveling solo as an obvious gringa (I’m a pale-skinned blonde). The one area I didn’t particularly care for was Poblado because it was expensive and too many English-speaking gringos. Yes, you have to be cautious and aware of your surroundings – it is a city of two million people. But it’s clean, friendly and people are proud of their city and want you to like it and be safe there.

    1. Depends in what respect Mark. Are you just going to live there or actually try to start a life? Rio is only better for some people because it has a beach. With better economic prospects in Colombia I would make my bet on Colombia. Its safer, the women are just as beautiful, and the people I would say are actually nicer as well.

  9. I worked in Orito in 1999 with a Sikorskey Flying Crane on contract with Eco Petrol. The compound we were on was protected by the Colombian Army, because we had a bounty on our heads to kidnap us by the communist FARC. In Bogota we didn’t leave the hotel except to fly out of country or to Orito. 4 years ago, I flew from Panama to Cartajena for a week on a recomondation from the Colombian doctor at Orito. Never felt any qualms of danger, though watched my back on evening walks. Met a Colombian in Buenos Aries two years ago, and when he found I had worked there during the FARC b/s, he invited me back. He told me now Colombia is one of the safest countries in S. America. I am going back this winter for a month or so. As I also backpacked thru Colombia in 1980 before the FARC made it unsafe, and while working there I flew in the Crane on working missions from Puerto Assis (sp) to the oil rig in the Andes foothills. The country is knock down beautiful. Raging white water rivers, lush jungles, lots of wildlife, and super nice people.

    1. I wouldn’t say that Colombia is the safest country in S. America. I would actually say that Chile is the safest country, followed by French Guyana, and then Colombia & Peru tied in 3rd place. Things are happening in Colombia and I planned on being based here for a while because the country is definitely moving.

  10. Hey Marcello,

    Have you ever traveled to Uruguay? I saw the one person’s comment stating how it was better than some of your suggestions (to each his own). I plan on moving out of the U.S. in the next 2-3 years and am glad I found your website. I would even be interested in working for your website as my background is in sales and marketing. Nonetheless, I will keep in touch on your website.
    Awesome picture with the Cheetahs.

    1. Yes Jimmy I have been there and also have family that lives in the country. I still would say that Rio and Medellin are best in my opinion. If you are interested opening a business I would say that Chile would be first and then Colombia. It is still a bit easier to do business in Chile than Colombia but with the new Pacific Alliance soon those markets will be integrated

    2. Hi Jimmy

      I`m from Uruguay and i live here, i love my country and i am proud of it.
      But let me tell you , i would NOT recomend you live here.
      I lived in USA, Spain and I was in Argentina,Brazil and Chile, the only first world country of the continent.
      And i can assure you that Uruguay its NOT a first world country. Its expensive, not secure, dirty, ineficcient and you dont want to deal with the burocracy.
      The country is plummeting in the areas of Education , Health and Security.
      I hope my comments will help you.
      (sorry for my english)

  11. I’m Brazilian and I’m surprised about Suriname on the list. To consider it better than Argentina or Uruguay it’s hard to believe. Perhaps you got amazed with the “Asian style” of Paramaribo, but living there is another story. In fact there’s nothing there, from leisure to medical treatment, shopping to jobs. Since you said your ranking is about countries to live in, and not just tourism, I would say that moving to Suriname would be very frustrating.
    Despite that, any ranking is, obviously, just a matter of personal opinion and you made good points. I would just reccomend not focusing only on big cities but also medium size cities where sometimes (or most times) your life would is much better. And about Brazil, you suggested that only Sao Paulo has safety problemas and Rio does not, which sounds as a joke for anyone who knows the country.

    1. You do make a good point Everton but when I was there in the capital I did see hospitals, etc. It is definitely a more laid back lifestyle but if I had to choose between Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay it would definitely be on the bottom of that list. Would agree with you that Brazil is a very big country but since it was a post on living in South America I only highlighted some of the major cities that people are accustomed to

  12. Your list is a lie. Everyone who has ever travelled to South America knows that Argentina is much more developed than its neighbors. Please, take a look at the Human Development Index. Buenos Aires, Argentina, boast the highest HDI for any Latinamerican city.

    1. Argentina is longer that advanced than other countries German and Argentina also now has become an extremely dangerous place to live and the quality of living has been degrading rapidly. Currently there are currency controls in place and things are getting worse by the day. At the turn of the 20th century Buenos Aires was the place to be and the most sought after city to visit and live. That is no longer the case. I don’t pay attention to government reports or lists because most people have never actually been to those countries. I have lived in almost every major metropolitan center in the last 4/5 years and base my opinions on personally being in those countries. I would not live in Buenos Aires at all unless things change. Much better places to be in South America.

  13. Marcello im no expert but im a guy from usa that just moved to Buenos Aires. If you are in the good barrios, it is soooo safe. I walk down dark streets at 2am all the time. There are women walking alone and couples and even parents with kids at all hours. Also im able to get almost 40% more for my dollars than official exchange rate so its very cheap here. I have not traveled like you, but the taxis are very safe too and i feel very confident going out in Belgrano, palermo, recoleta etc.

    1. Would not agree Ryan. I know locals that live in the best areas of town and they have attempted kidnappings all the time. I know of first hand accounts of thefts and attempting kidnappings in each of the three neighborhoods you mentioned. Great city but in a horrible situation right now.

  14. Hey, I was wondering what is your profession? I’m quite jealous or your travels, I’m trying to get your travel experience too!

  15. I’m from Colombia and I would say that nowadays our country is way safer than ten years ago. I have never been robbed here. Last year I went to Paris and get robbed at metro by pin-pockets, so I think that one should be cautious any big city.
    Some nice places to go at here:
    – Bogota: Andres Chia, Monserrate, Mina de sal, Alpina sopo, zona G, zona T, Usaquen, Candelaria,
    – Villa de Leyva, it’s a 450 years old town amazing in any possible way. It’s 4 hours in car from Bogota.
    – Cali, nice people and party.
    – Medellin, nice weather, women and party. Arvi park it’s amazing place high in the mountains, it’s one hour away in metro cable. Definitely it’s worthy to take the night tour of drinking cocktail shoots in parque lleras and night life places (kind of golden mile).
    – Cartagena, there is an 470 years old city inside Cartagena. That’s truly amazing.
    – Bucaramanga, there is a place there named chicamocha. Just google it.
    – Manizales and eje cafetero, nice weather, good looking mountains, nice people.

    Colombia is full of mountains so I recommend to flight (except for Villa de Leyva).
    Additional tips: drink as much fruit juices as you can, take an umbrella, purchase coffee bags as souvenirs.

  16. I would cease this opportunity to correct you all. There is nothing like complete security in any country of the world. The issue is very clear, it is only higher in some countries than others. comparing a country over others is a matter of personal experience and opinion. After all, the Great USA had recorder a lot of Public shootings since since 2012. There is no safer place in the world and there is no country without poverty, but i must agree that the level of poverty is another point to consider, South America as a whole is a 2nd world continent…dont get me wrong,in terms of economics, Brasil is the best. but when you compare economics to the standard of living which to be is the best thing to consider when rating a country, Chile, Costa Rica should come in. For those of you, who are planning on moving to any of the South American countries, never mind, follow your heart, it is where your heart is, there is where your treasure is. Do not follow any post 100%, read and pick out points that are relevant to you, but make your decisions yourself, based on your scale of preference. Thanks to you all.

    1. In terms of economics Brazil is not the best… they are just the biggest market which is changing with the new Pacific Alliance. The best in terms of economics is Chile by far. Brazil is easily 10 times or more larger than Chile and has more than ten times the population yet they receive almost 10 times less the amount of foreign direct investment. Brazil is not a good place to do business while Chile has now become of the best places to do business in the world. Costa Rica has been overrun by gringos and prices have risen to almost western standards would not recommend Costa Rica.

  17. I am an American missionary and lived in Medellin, Colombia for 3 years. It is dangerous in Medellin. I was never hurt but many people I know were. Medellin is not as dangerous as it use to be but I never went out at night. I love the people I worked with and the food was not expensive at all. The worst part for me was the pollution. It is very bad in Medellin. The weather is great.

  18. Hi Marcello,

    I am planning to live in South America next for a year. I would love to relocate to Medellin. Do you know if there are many english speaking jobs in Medellin as my spanish is very limited. Part of the reason I would like to live in South America is to learn Spanish and I hear Colombia is one of the best places to learn. I currently work in Finance and have had enough of a desk job planning to workand travel the world for the Indefinite future, so your blog is very inspiring to me! Hopefully I will visit your Day Trading Academy next year :)

    All the best,


    1. Most people that have jobs that are higher in the corporate world do speak English. The overall population however does not. Colombia is definitely one of the best places to learn how to speak Spanish. I would recommend Medellin because to me they have the best accent. Awesome on the Day Trading Academy note Lana. You will be happy to hear that we have another female trader named Lana and she already quit her job to trade full time :)

  19. Thanks for your website and videos. I have lived and worked in 24 countries for 25 years – mostly in Asia but also the Latin Caribbean. In fact, in pre-internet days I published my own successful travelkers’ newsletter and videos. I am a fussy mid-aged vegetarian guy on a tight budget w/ affinities for Buddhism, who looks for good value medical care, quinoa and tiny hairless women 18-21 w/o dating games. I am considering alternatives to my familiar countries in southeast Asia. To semi-retire and buy property.

    Your info convinced me to skip South America!

    Or did I miss some place suitable and preferable to Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka?

    1. Look for the best neighborhoods Edward.
      -Suriname is small and safe stay in the capital.
      -Peru the most popular area is Miraflores.
      -Chile is safe stay in the center in Santiago.
      -Brazil is quite large you could start your search in Rio.
      -For Colombia I would recommend Medellin.

  20. Chile has the higher way of living. Argentina is poor…default for second time in 10 years with huge levels of corruption so Chile is well know for efficiency and better PNUD.
    The list above is correct, Uruguay is nice with a tiny economy and Argentina hardly can keep a fictitious image trying to hide poverty.

    1. Chile is a small country made of rocks. The earth is swallowing it. Lots of earthquakes! Awful people. Chile is still very far from being like huge Argentina. Just compare horrible Santiago to beautiful Buenos Aires… There’s no point!

  21. I am a recent graduate with a Business degree and I would like to move to a city in South America, I see that Medellin, Col and Chile are good choices, I am 100% bilingual in English and Spanish. The question is if I can get a better quality of life than in the U.S I know it can be a tricky question depending on how you look at it but an overall answer would work?
    What work/job did you do while you were living in Medellin??

    1. did you find out anything interested…. ?

      I am also a u s citizen looking forward to move to south americaI (colombia) also have a bachelor’s degree and I interested in knowing if I can use it over there ?

  22. Suriname and Colombia over Uruguay and Argentina?

    Have you looked at crime rates for Colombia? Yes it’s not the Pablo days but life is worth a little above some African countries. Medellin is a far better place to live than Bogota but they are not even in the same league as Buenos Aires, Montevideo or Natal/Belem (Brazil) as far as quality of life goes.
    I’m from Argentina, I lived in Brazil for a few years and now I’m relocated to USA. In South America, there is no safe city, is laughable just to debate it, you just have to know how to move in each city. Bogota doesn’t even a have a metro, is a massive traffic jam every day and very dirty. I’m married to a Colombian and I have spent a good amount time traveling the country which is beatiful but needs definitely massive amounts of development to go if you even want to compare to cities like BA or Rio. Go ask a Colombian where they go to college because they can’t afford it in their own country and decent public college education is non-existant, they are all stacked in Palermo and Ciudad Universitaria and they never leave.

    Maybe you got robbed in BA…

    1. I wouldn’t live in Buenos Aires again. Used to be a great city but unfortunately now its a bit chaotic. There are many safe cities in Latin America. Santiago in Chile is very safe, Medellin in Colombia is also very safe contrary to what people say, Porto Alegre in Brazil is also very safe. I would prefer Uruguay over Argentina but if I had the choice I would choose Colombia over Uruguay.

  23. Hey interesting blog!! I have lived and worked in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru and also have travelled extensively around the continent. Currently working in Medellin.
    Paraguay is a cool place to be. Nice people, small population and quite cheap to manage life. Asuncion is beautiful with colorful tress all around and quite clean and safe too. Not too many expats talk about Paraguay. The only bad thing in Paraguay is its summer weather…it´s unbearably hot in summer.
    Marcello, how do you work online? Any suggestion? I am planning to quit my job and start something that I can do by myself from anywhere in the globe.

  24. Fake list made by an ignorant. Everybody knows the most civilized country in Latin America is Argentina. Not only does it have the most European population, but also enjoys the highest way of life and offers the best landscapes in the continent (Iguazu falls, Perito Moreno glacier, Bariloche, Mendoza, Salta…)

  25. Grande equivoco ou falta de informação da parte da pessoa que escreveu essa matéria. Rio de Janeiro, tanto quanto sao paulo, são completa e totalmente violentos. É mínima a possibilidade de voce sair na rua e não ser assaltado.
    Mapa da Violência 2014 faz uma radiografia de um dos maiores problemas brasileiros. Veja as informações mais relevantes sobre o país com a 7ª maior taxa de homicídios do mundo
    Todas as capitais brasileiras têm índice de homicídios considerado epidêmico
    São Paulo – De acordo com os dados do Mapa da Violência 2014, lançando nesta quarta-feira, o Brasil registrou 154 assassinatos por dia em 2012 – um recorde. O ano fechou com 56 mil homicídios.
    O estudo traz diversos outros números que mostram um panorama da violência nacional. A taxa de homicídios entre a população branca, por exemplo, tem caído, enquanto a de negros, crescido.

    Já o interior vem registrando aumento no número de casos, mas as capitais ainda concentram 1/3 dos assassinatos.

    Os dados foram retirados do Sistema de Informações de Mortalidade do Ministério da Saúde e são de 2012 – os mais recentes disponíveis.

    Veja a seguir 20 fatos para decifrar a violência no Brasil:

    1. Número de assassinatos em 2012 é igual a 1,4 “Carandirus” por dia

    Em 2012, o Brasil registrou mais de 56 mil homícidios. Isso é igual a 154 mortes diárias ou 1,4 massacres do Carandiru por dia.

    2. Brasil é o 7º país mais violento do mundo

    Levando em conta as taxas mais atualizadas de homicídios de 100 países, o Brasil ficou em 7º lugar. Fica atrás apenas de El Salvador, da Guatemala, de Trinidad e Tobago, da Colômbia, Venezuela e de Guadalupe – todos na Améria Latina.

    3. E também 7º do mundo em mortalidade juvenil
    Com 29,3 mortes de jovens a cada 100 mil habitantes, o Brasil ficou em 7º lugar no ranking mundial de mortalidade juvenil (que considera a população entre 15 e 29 anos).

    4. Capitais concentram 1/3 dos homicídios do país

    Em 2012, 31,6% dos homicidios foram registrados nas capitais do país. Apesar de parecer o alto, a concentração vem diminuindo há mais de uma década. Em 2002, era de 38,1%.

    5. Violência é epidêmica em todas as capitais

    Nenhuma capital, em 2012, manteve níveis de violência abaixo do considerado epidêmico (isto é, 10 homicídios para cada 100 mil habitantes). Florianópolis, que tem a menor taxa, está com 15 por 100 mil habitantes.

    6. Alagoas é o estado mais violento do Brasil

    Em 2012, foram registrados 64,6 homicídios para cada 100 mil habitantes. A média do Brasil é de 29 mortes.

    7. Já Santa Catarina é o estado menos violento

    O estado teve, em 2012, taxa de homicídios 5 vezes menor que Alagoas: foram 12,1 mortes a cada 100 mil habitantes.

    8. Homens são 9 de cada 10 vítimas

    Em 2012, 91,6% das vítimas de homicídio eram homens. Na população jovem, esse índice é ainda maior: 93,3%. A taxa de 54,3 homicídios masculinos é 11 vezes superior à feminina, de 4,8.

    9. Jovens são maioria

    Em 2012, foram registrados mais de 30 mil homicídios de jovens no Brasil. Isto é, os jovens foram vítimas de mais da metade (53,4%) de todos os homicídios do país.

    O número é ainda mais preocupante se levarmos em conta que a faixa etária de 15 a 29 anos representa apenas 26,9% da população nacional.

    10. Mortalidade de jovens se mantém estável há 32 anos

    Enquanto a taxa de mortalidade da população geral cai, entre os jovens ela se mantém estável. Em 1980, ela era de 146 mortes para cada 100 mil jovens. Em 2012, foi de 149/100 mil. Os homicídios e os acidentes de trânsito são os maiores responsáveis pelas mortes na juventude.

    11. Chance de morrer “explode” entre 20 e 24 anos

    A maior taxa de mortalidade da população brasileira está na faixa etária de 20 a 24 anos. Em 2012, foram registrados 66,9 mortes para cada 100 mil habitantes nestas idades. Entre as crianças de 10 a 14 anos, por exemplo, a taxa fica em 4,3/100 mil, e entre os adultos de 30 a 39 anos, é de 43/100 mil.

    12. Só 6 estados do país diminuiram violência contra os jovens em 2012

    Foram Paraíba (-1,7%), Espírito Santo (-3,4%), Mato Grosso do Sul (-6,6%), Pernambuco (-6,8%), Alagoas (-8,5%) e Amazonas (-9,3%).

    13. Problema vem melhorando na população branca e piorando na negra

    Nos últimos 10 anos, o homicídio entre brancos caiu 24,8%, enquanto entre negros cresceu 38,7%.

    Em 2002, as taxas de homicídio entre brancos era de 21,7 por 100 mil brancos. A dos negros, de 37,5 por 100 mil negros. Sendo assim, o índice de vitimização negra foi de 73, o que significa que morreram proporcionalmente 73% mais negros que brancos.

    Já em 2012, esse índice subiu para 146,5. O que faz com que a vitimização negra, no período de 2002 a 2012, tenha crescido 100,7%.

    14. Dentre as mortes violentas, homicídio é que faz mais vítimas no país

    Foram 58,1 mortes consideradas violentas a cada 100 mil habitantes em 2012. A categoria inclui acidentes de trânsito, suicídios e homicídios. Dentre eles, os assassinatos são os responsáveis pelo maior número de mortes: a taxa nacional é de 29 a cada 100 mil habitantes.

    15. O país é 4º do mundo em acidentes de trânsito

    Com sua taxa de 23 mortes em acidentes de transporte para cada 100 mil habitantes, o Brasil ficou com a 4ª posição entre 101 países analisados.

    16. Acidentes estão crescendo

    Em 2009, a taxa havia sido de 20,2/100 mil. Os acidentes fatais de motociclistas vêm puxando a taxa para cima.

    17. Motociclistas são as maiores vítimas nas ruas (de longe)

    Em 2012, 16.223 motociclistas morreram em acidentes de trânsito – 8,4 mortes a cada 100 mil habitantes. Este número representa crescimento de 1.041% em relação a 1996, quando foram registradas 1.421 mortes.

    A morte de ocupantes de carros também aumentou, mas bem menos: 82,7%. Por outro lado, a morte de pedestres caiu 53,7% no mesmo período.

    18. Suicídios crescem 33% em 10 anos

    Entre os anos 2002 e 2012, o total de suicídios no país passou de 7.726 para 10.321, o que representa um aumento de 33.6%. O crescimento no número de casos é superior ao aumento da população, que foi de 11,1% no mesmo período.

    19. Região Norte é destaque negativo em suicídios

    Os estados Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima e Tocantins viram o número de homicídios saltar 77,7% nos últimos 10 anos. Em 2012, foram registrados 693 casos por lá.

    20. Roraima tem a cidade com o maior número de homicídios do país

    A cidade de Caracaraí, em Roraima, é a primeira no ranking das cidades brasileiras com maior taxa de homicídios. No município de 19 mil habitantes, o índice atingiu 210 para cada 100 mil habitantes.

  26. Grande equivoco ou falta de informação da parte da pessoa que escreveu essa matéria. Rio de Janeiro, tanto quanto sao paulo, são completa e totalmente violentos. É mínima a possibilidade de voce sair na rua e não ser assaltado.
    Mapa da Violência 2014 faz uma radiografia de um dos maiores problemas brasileiros. Veja as informações mais relevantes sobre o país com a 7ª maior taxa de homicídios do mundo
    Todas as capitais brasileiras têm índice de homicídios considerado epidêmico
    São Paulo – De acordo com os dados do Mapa da Violência 2014, lançando nesta quarta-feira, o Brasil registrou 154 assassinatos por dia em 2012 – um recorde. O ano fechou com 56 mil homicídios.
    O estudo traz diversos outros números que mostram um panorama da violência nacional. A taxa de homicídios entre a população branca, por exemplo, tem caído, enquanto a de negros, crescido.

    Já o interior vem registrando aumento no número de casos, mas as capitais ainda concentram 1/3 dos assassinatos.

    Os dados foram retirados do Sistema de Informações de Mortalidade do Ministério da Saúde e são de 2012 – os mais recentes disponíveis.

      1. Hello all well? Where are you from? I am Brazilian and I live in small town that should be more quiet , and I’m afraid to leave home the night alone . Where do you lived here ? Because the country is becoming more violent day, for you have this image , I believe lived in the best city in the country , and that has a lot of money to live in a safe home. I liked your page , do not get me wrong , Brazil and a very beautiful country , but the violence here and very large , there is no quiet, and the dream of many Brazilians and get out of here , for security reasons . I just hope one day to see that Brazil you narrated …

  27. Great site ! I heard that Equador had the most stable infrastructure in general and banking ( or best – like American type ) in S. America. You did not mention Equador. What do you think of that advise to move there ? Is it a good thing in terms of safety, money, health care ?Thank you -this is really important to my family ? Thanks for your insights and experience and research. Mary Rodgers

    1. Mary… Ecuador does not have the most stable banking. Their banking and economist system was in such disarray they don’t even have their own currency. They use US dollars. Chile and Panama would have the most sound banking systems. Colombia also is very well capitalized in terms of banking. Ecuador does have some of the best infrastructure however. Chile I would say has the best.

  28. It was nice to read your write up.

    I am very much interested to visit south America Especially, Ecuador, Colombia etc and see if anything suitable out there to do. I am retired businessman (55), want to see and experience different parts of world and if possible and found suitable make one of them a permanent home.

    In case you are travelling alone in South America, i would appreciate if you can accommodate me.

    Thanks in advance

  29. am black African from Tanzania ,East Africa I want to move I south America any body help which is best city for us black African

  30. I’m trying to get my masters in education and I would love to teach in Colombia for a year as a teacher’s assistant while learning the language. I’m trying to decide between Bucaramanga and Cali. I would fit more in Cali because I am black American but my friend is trying to convince me to go to Bucaramanga. Either way, I’m really excited about that in the future.

  31. Hi Marcello,

    My family and I are considering to move to South America. My husband is a commercial fisherman and I am a nurse most of our income comes from fishing. Which country, town, or city would you recommend to settle that my husband would be able to work?

  32. I’m sorry but you can learn castilian (spanish) basically all of south America to say one is better is wrong. If you want to talk like a Colombian then you learn in Colombia same goes for Argentina , Chile and so forth everyone has a different tone. Everyone of these countries has its good and bad side difficulties are found in any country, it’s where you feel more inclined to be. I was born in Argentina grew up in the U.S. hoping my country improves in the near future to move back. The U.S. is going down hill and fast

  33. Hi, thanks for an extensive description of cheaper places, even the ones less common – like Suriname – never thought of heading that direction. I plan to move to South America later this year, and stay in a cheap location for 6-8 months while working on my business. I’m mostly after some cheap (but good standard) accommodation with Wi-Fi (real deal breaker). i’m no fussed about food, as long as I don’t starve :) would you recommend staying in hostels a good option, or renting a room / flat privately would work out at similar price? Love the website btw and will be visiting often :)

  34. Hi, my husband and I are looking for the best place to go for two months next year in February and March. My husband will be working and needs fast internet service. We also have three small children so I’d like it to be reasonably safe. Thanks for any suggestions!

  35. Interesting post! I was thinking of spending a few months in South america in one country in January. One of the most important criteria for me would be a fast internet connection since I plan to work from a distance. Of course the culture and the people are very important as well. I was thinking about Santiago, Chile, do you have other suggestions? Also do you have a contact for the $800 condo rental?


    1. Most countries in Latin America have high speed internet. Chile, Colombia, Peru, and even Mexico all have reliable high speed connection. Don’t have any contacts but you should be able or find something on airbnb or craiglist.

  36. Sorry guys, but I’m not sure who came out with this ranking. The best countries in south America is uruguay and Chile by far the best economy and safest.

    1. They have the best economies… although Colombia and Peru’s economy are performing much better than Uruguay. Chile is a great place to do business but Colombia has a higher quality of life.

  37. It´s clear you hate Argentina, I understand that we had, have and will have lot’s of economic issues, but c’mon give us a chance. In 25 years, I have never been robbed, kidnapped or abused (?), Buenos Aires is a great and beautiful city, full of life, culture, nightlife, and eclectic architecture (noisy and chaotic too, I know). I can walk it alone at 3 in the morning and nothing is going to happen.

    But you say Colombia, Brazil and Perú are safer!

    I’ve been in Bogotá last year (my girlfriend is colombian) and I was in shock at first time. The city looked really different from what I’m used to (flat city, poor infrastructure, etc) everything was dead after 20hs, no people on the streets, no life, those first days were tough.
    On the other hand, I was shocked by Colombia economy, everything so cheap! So many facilities for the people in the economic sphere.

    1. It’s a great place to visit but horrible place to stay long term. Colombia and Peru are way more safe than Argentina. Although there is a caveat because Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Cordoba, including other places like Salta which are very dangerous. There are as many dangerous places in Brazil also but with the economic crisis Argentina isn’t a place that people want to be. Plus, Brazilians, Colombians, and Peruvians are 100% nicer than people from Argentina.

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