Vilnius: You are more likely to be murdered in the Baltic state of Lithuania than anywhere else in the European Union, according to figures released by the EU`s official statistics agency, Eurostat.
In a report on crime trends over recent years, Lithuania saw an average 8.76 murders per 100,000 heads of population every year during the period 2002-8, Eurostat said, making Lithuania the EU`s murder capital by some margin.
Another Baltic state, Estonia, recorded the second-highest level with 6.6 murders per 100,000 residents. Complete data was not available for the third Baltic state, Latvia, but incomplete figures suggested a similar rate to that of Estonia.
"The figures suggest that Lithuania and Estonia have by far the highest incidence of homicides ... The only other countries reporting more than two cases a year per hundred thousand population were Finland, Bulgaria, Scotland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Ireland," Eurostat reported.
The lowest murder rates were observed in Austria, Slovenia and Germany, all of which had less than one homicide per 100,000 of population.
Lithuania`s capital Vilnius ranked first in terms of homicide statistics among EU capital cities with 8.28 murders per 100,000 residents, followed by Tallinn in Estonia with 6.04 and Luxembourg with 3.98.
On a more positive note, Lithuania was also amongst the EU states that saw one of the largest drops in levels of violent crime during the same period.