UK: 2034So, if these numbers are correct, the United States has a violent crime rate lower than a fourth of Great Britain's, lower than half of Belgium's (where I live), and almost exactly half of Canada's.
South Africa: 1609
Two caveats: 1) I want to know how each of these countries defines "violent crime" before accepting these statistics. I wouldn't be surprised if the definitions varied significantly from country to country. I've heard that the USA has a higher murder rate than Canada, so it would be very unusual if Canada has an overall rate of violent crime that's double that of the States. 2) To accept these statistics would be to trust a) government and b) the popular press. I'm a little suspicious.
If these numbers are correct, though, I can think of several causes for the (alleged) misperception that America is more violent: 1) America has a population of over 300 million people, so it has a larger number of violent crimes than countries with significantly smaller populations. But this is obviously not a fair measure of how violent America is, because all of these other countries have (according to the article) a higher rate of violent crime. If their populations were equal to America's, their number of violent crimes would be much higher. 2) It may be (I really have no idea) that America has a higher rate of particular types of violent crimes that most people consider the most violent. So maybe the US has a higher rate of murder, but a lower rate of armed robbery. However, this is just speculation on my part. 3) America is founded on the complete rejection of the proverb "Don't air your dirty laundry in public." When something bad happens in the States, I hear about it over here. When something comparably bad happens over here, it generally does not receive as much attention. Not even close. 4) Movies, TV, and the mainstream media portray the US as extremely violent, and for many non-Americans, these media are their only exposure to the US. 5) Simple, pure, unadulterated anti-Americanism.