Soap suburb’s murder rate is ’10 times higher than Tijuana, Mexico’

Hollyoaks turned 25 at the end of last week – and the soap still leads the way when it comes to murder rates.

If the suburb in Cheshire where the action takes place was a real place, it would probably have the highest murder rate in the world (it does have a bit of a serial killer problem).

Since the soap started in 1995, 93 people have met a deliberate violent end – an average of 3.7 murders a year.

It compares to about 20 murders each in Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale over the same period.

The murder rate in Hollyoaks is the equivalent of 12.4 murders per 1,000 people.

That’s about 1,000 times higher than the rate in England and Wales, which is 0.011 per 1,000.

It’s also nearly 10 times higher than Tijuana in Mexico, which had the highest murder rate in the world in 2019 at 1.34 per 1,000 people, according to analysis by El Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal (The Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice), a Mexico City-based advocacy group.

The first five years in Hollyoaks were reasonably quiet – people even died of natural causes – then serial killer Toby Mills arrived in 2001 and killed 13 women over 2002 and 2003.

  Coronation Street Eastenders Emmerdale Hollyoaks
Years show has been running 60 35 48 25
Average number of murders per year 0.42 0.80 0.48 3.72
Overall murder rate per 1,000 people 1.39 2.67 1.60 12.40
         
Average number of murders per year (2001 to 2005) 0.6 1.2 0.2 2.6
Overall murder rate per 1,000 people (2001 to 2005) 2.00 4.00 0.67 8.67
         
Average number of murders per year (2006 to 2010) 0.8 1.2 0.8 3.2
Overall murder rate per 1,000 people (2006 to 2010) 2.67 4.00 2.67 10.67
         
Average number of murders per year (2011 to 2015) 0.8 1 0.8 7.4
Overall murder rate per 1,000 people (2011 to 2015) 2.67 3.33 2.67 24.67
         
Average number of murders per year (2016 to 2020) 1.8 1.2 1.6 5.4
Overall murder rate per 1,000 people (2016 to 2020) 6.00 4.00 5.33 18.00

As a result, 2003 saw the joint highest number of deaths, along with 2013.

Toby Mills was also Hollyoaks most prolific serial killer – the soap has seen seven so far.

However, the murder rate has dropped in the area in recent years.

Serial killer Toby Mills arrived in 2001 and killed 13 women
(Image: Channel 4)

It peaked at an average of 7.4 murders a year between 2011 and 2015, but has since dropped back to an average of 5.4 per year between 2016 and 2020.

The other soaps, however, are becoming more dangerous places to live – perhaps closing the gap on Hollyoaks.

Between 2011 and 2015, there was an average of 0.8 murders per year in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, and 1.0 per year in EastEnders.

However, that rose to an average of 1.8 per year in Coronation Street, between 2016 and 2020, as well as 1.2 a year in EastEnders and 1.6 per year in Emmerdale.

Coronation Street has seen 25 murders in its 60 years, EastEnders, 28 in 35 years, and Emmerdale, 23 in 48 years.

Full murder breakdown since 1968

Year Coronation Street Eastenders Emmerdale Hollyoaks Total Result
1968 1       1
1973     1   1
1975 1       1
1978 1       1
1985   1     1
1986     1   1
1989 1       1
1991   1     1
1993   2     2
1994     2   2
1996     1   1
1999 1 1 1   3
2002 1 1 1 2 5
2003 1 1   11 13
2004   2     2
2005 1 2     3
2006   2 2 6 10
2007 1     2 3
2008 1 1 1 3 6
2009   2   2 4
2010 2 1 1 3 7
2011 1     4 5
2012 1 1 2 4 8
2013 1 1 1 11 14
2014 1 2 1 8 12
2015   1   10 11
2016 2 2 1 7 12
2017 2 2 1 7 12
2018 3 1 3 9 16
2019 2   1 3 6
2020   1 2 1 4
Grand Total 25 28 23 93 169

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