Nigeria does NOT have the highest rape rate in the world

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Summary

A claim that Nigeria has the highest rate of male to female rape in the world has gone viral on X.

VERDICT: The claim that Nigeria has the highest rate of male to female rape in the world at 34.6% is FALSE; data show that Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho top the list of countries with the highest rape rates globally.

A claim that Nigeria has the highest rate of male to female rape in the world has gone viral on X.

The claim was made by an X user, @NnukwuMama, on the social media platform. It was boldly written as texts on an image. It read:

Rape in Nigeria. Nigeria has the highest rate of male to female rape in the world at 34.6%.

The claimant posted the image with another caption thus:

Check that Nigerian male today. He could be a rapist.
The post has garnered over a 100,000 views, more than 1,300 likes and over 380 reposts as of April 3, 2024.

CLAIM

Nigeria has the highest rate of male to female rape in the world at 34.6%.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE!

Screenshot of the claim retrieved from X. INSERT: False verdict.
Screenshot of the claim retrieved from X. INSERT: False verdict.

A 2020 report by The Business Standard citing the World Population Review as it’s data source, listed ten countries with the highest rape rate namely; South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Bermuda, Sweden, Suriname, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Grenada. In the report, South Africa was listed as having the highest rape rate.

It also listed China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Japan, USA and Russia while noting that the data did not take into account rape incidents that go unreported to the police.

Another 2021 statistics by Data Pandas noted that the highest rape cases in the world was Botswana, followed by Lesotho and South Africa. Citing the UNODC violent crime offences as its source, it also listed 115 countries without Nigeria on the list.

In June 2023, Wionews also published an image reel which showcased the list of 7 countries with the highest rape cases globally. Citing the World Population Review as its source, it listed Botswana as the highest, followed by Lesotho, South Africa, Bermuda, Sweden, Suriname and Costa Rica.

Further checks revealed that the image posted by the claimant has been manipulated. She, however, admitted in the comments section that the claim was a misinformation as seen here.

Spreading disinformation could be for many reasons, one of which is bias confirmation which could likely be the case here. Despite the claimant admitting that the post contained false information, this could cause chaos in the information ecosystem as the topic is a sensitive one.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that Nigeria has the highest rate of male to female rape in the world at 34.6% is FALSE; data show that Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho top the list of countries with the highest rape rates globally.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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