Which Countries Have the Highest and Lowest Cancer Rates?


There were an estimated 14.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2012, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. Of those cases, the United States had the sixth highest number of new diagnoses, with 318 cases per 100,000 people.

Below is an infographic showing the countries with the 10 highest and 10 lowest cancer rates:



  1. It seems likely to me that age/longevity is the actual reason for these differences. We know that age is the single greatest risk factor for all cancers and we can see that the countries with the highest cancer rates have much greater longevity than the countries with the lowest rates.

  2. Bad science. You didn’t factor in detection rates. That is the health care system in Denmark is better at detecting cancer than say the health care system in Nigeria. This is common sense and empirically verifiable.

    • Dear Peter –
      Thank you for your comment. This data for this infographic was sourced from the International Agency for Research on Cancer GLOBOCAN project. More information on the data, including sources and methods, can be found at http://globocan.iarc.fr. Thank you again for reading our Insight blog.

  3. Another thing to consider is reportage, how many names for cancer are not cancer. Also, how about the fiasco up in northern Alberta in Canada where there were so many ”irregular” births that the data was removed from the web so as not to embarrass the fracking frackers at the SCAR sands.
    *Errors corrected

  4. Cancer occurs mainly in old age and as such those countries with low cancer rates are the ones where the people die before they reach the cancer age.

    One top of that poorer countries like Niger, Bhutan and Gambia do not have enough of qualified doctors to make the diagnosis of cancer and most types of cancer needs sophisticated diagnostic personnel and equipment to facilitate the diagnosis.

  5. What you must also take into consideration is diets. In these countries where there are lower instance rates they tend to have a more organic diet; ie eating native fruits and vegetables grown locally opposed to lots of protein in more industrialized nations. This also links to cancer incident rates. In America our life expectancy rate went DOWN from what it was in the past. This is because of poor eating habits, chemicals, gmo foods, etc not diagnosed in elderly but in an alarmingly increasing number of age ranges that should be healthy otherwise. To say poor detection is the reason of disparity among numbers and average life span is to ignore other scientific, quantifiable data that exists to the contrary. It is directly tied in to food systems, agricultural processes, toxins and added dna fragments to plant species in order to yield more desirable results on a profitability landscape. Do not brush these aside while compiling data and adhere biases propagated by the uneducated or poorly educated.

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