Incarceration Rates By Country 2021

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Incarceration is the state of being confined in prison or imprisonment.

Mass incarceration in the United States has led to several issues, including overcrowded prisons, which increase health risks and decreased psychological well-being. Additionally, the increasing number of prisoners is putting a significant strain on state budgets. Prisons must control and administer all aspects of life for inmates, which lengthy and costly list of necessities. Prison costs include adequate security, food, recreational and education opportunities, infrastructure maintenance, utility costs for the facilities, and healthcare for the prisoners. State prison spending varies greatly and can be as high as $69,355 per inmate (the average cost of an inmate in New York).

The United States is the world leader in incarceration, despite the national incarceration rate being at its lowest in 20 years, with about 25% of the world's prison population being in the US. The United States currently has over 2.1 million total prisoners. The prison population in 1972 was 200,000, almost 2 million less than it is today. The prison populations in each state vary in each state, with the highest rates in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Mass incarceration in the United States is a civil rights issue. Many argue that incarceration dehumanizes poor people and minorities, does not increase public safety, and damages already marginalized communities.

Around the world, many countries have jail occupancy rates over 100%. Kenya's jail occupancy level is currently 284%. The United States prisoner rate (number of prisoners per 100,000 people) is 639, the world's highest.

The ten countries with the highest incarceration rates are:

  1. United States (639)
  2. El Salvador (566)
  3. Turkmenistan (552)
  4. Thailand (549)
  5. Palau (522)
  6. Rwanda (511)
  7. Cuba (510)
  8. Maldives (499)
  9. Bahamas (442)
  10. Grenada (429)

Incarceration Rates By Country 2021

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Incarceration Rates By Country 2021

* Rate is number of prisoners per 100,000 population
Country Prisoners Rate 2021 Population
United States639332,915,073
El Salvador5666,518,499
Turkmenistan5526,117,924
Thailand54969,950,850
Palau52218,169
Rwanda51113,276,513
Cuba51011,317,505
Maldives499543,617
Northern Mariana Islands48257,917
Bahamas442396,913
Grenada429113,021
Panama4124,381,579
Guam411170,179
Saint Kitts And Nevis39353,544
Costa Rica3745,139,052
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines369111,263
Anguilla36715,117
Cayman Islands36566,497
Brazil357213,993,437
Belize356404,914
Seychelles35698,908
American Samoa34555,100
Belarus3439,442,862
Bermuda34262,090
Russia341145,912,025
Uruguay3373,485,151
Turkey33585,042,738
Nicaragua3326,702,385
Puerto Rico3132,828,255
Brunei307441,532
Barbados300287,711
Namibia2952,587,344
Iran29485,028,759
Trinidad And Tobago2921,403,375
Peru29033,359,418
Eswatini2781,172,362
Fiji274902,906
Guyana264790,326
Saint Lucia263184,400
Dominica26272,167
South Africa25960,041,994
Taiwan25823,855,010
Georgia2513,979,765
Dominican Republic24310,953,703
Paraguay2417,219,638
Gabon2412,278,825
Morocco23737,344,795
Honduras23710,062,991
Curacao236164,798
Israel2348,789,774
Bahrain2341,748,296
Macau232658,394
Argentina23045,605,826
Greenland22556,877
Ecuador22417,888,475
Cook Islands22417,565
Cambodia22016,946,438
French Polynesia219282,530
Chile21719,212,361
Mauritius2171,273,433
Lithuania2162,689,862
Malaysia21232,776,194
Azerbaijan20810,223,342
Botswana2082,397,241
Lebanon2056,769,146
Samoa204200,149
Philippines200111,046,913
Colombia19951,265,844
Saudi Arabia19735,340,683
Slovakia1965,460,721
Tunisia19511,935,766
Singapore1955,896,686
Martinique189374,745
New Zealand1884,860,643
Czech Republic18610,724,555
Moldova1864,024,019
Suriname183591,800
Poland18137,797,005
Estonia1811,325,185
Venezuela17828,704,954
Latvia1751,866,942
Montenegro172628,053
Myanmar17154,806,012
Hungary1699,634,164
Guadeloupe167400,020
Tonga166106,760
Aruba165107,204
Bolivia16411,832,940
Kyrgyzstan1616,628,356
Australia16025,788,215
Albania1592,872,933
Mexico158130,262,216
Serbia1588,697,550
Kazakhstan15718,994,962
New Caledonia154288,218
Algeria15344,616,624
Saint Martin15339,234
Ukraine14843,466,819
Guatemala14618,249,860
Bhutan145779,898
Malta145442,784
Nauru14010,876
Libya1396,958,532
Jamaica1382,973,463
Laos1307,379,358
Vietnam12898,168,833
Ethiopia127117,876,227
Zimbabwe12715,092,171
Micronesia127116,254
Iraq12641,179,350
Isle Of Man12585,410
Uganda12447,123,531
Cameroon12427,224,265
Zambia12318,920,651
Spain12246,745,216
China1211,444,216,107
Tajikistan1219,749,627
Kuwait1174,328,550
Egypt116104,258,327
Sao Tome And Principe116223,368
United Kingdom11468,207,116
Kiribati113121,392
Romania11019,127,774
Mongolia1103,329,289
Tuvalu11011,931
Portugal10910,167,925
Bulgaria1096,896,663
Greece10810,370,744
Canada10738,067,903
South Korea10551,305,186
Sri Lanka10521,497,310
North Macedonia1052,082,658
United Arab Emirates1049,991,089
Madagascar10228,427,328
Haiti9711,541,685
Belgium9511,632,326
Austria959,043,070
Angola9333,933,610
Lesotho922,159,079
Italy9060,367,477
Hong Kong907,552,810
France8765,426,179
Afghanistan8739,835,428
Cyprus861,215,584
Indonesia85276,361,783
Nepal8429,674,920
Burundi8412,255,433
Croatia844,081,651
Bosnia And Herzegovina833,263,466
Luxembourg83634,814
Ivory Coast8227,053,629
Kenya8154,985,698
Switzerland808,715,494
Solomon Islands77703,996
Ireland744,982,907
Armenia742,968,127
Vanuatu72314,464
Malawi7119,647,684
Benin7012,451,040
Germany6983,900,473
Uzbekistan6833,935,763
Senegal6817,196,301
Sweden6810,160,169
Denmark685,813,298
Togo678,478,250
Djibouti661,002,187
Marshall Islands6659,610
Mozambique6332,163,047
Netherlands6317,173,099
Equatorial Guinea631,449,896
Papua New Guinea629,119,010
Syria6018,275,702
Sierra Leone608,141,343
Tanzania5961,498,437
Chad5916,914,985
Andorra5577,355
Liberia545,180,203
Yemen5330,490,640
Finland535,548,360
Mauritania534,775,119
Qatar532,930,528
Slovenia532,078,724
Bangladesh52166,303,498
Sudan5244,909,353
Ghana5231,732,129
Timor Leste521,343,873
South Sudan5011,381,378
Norway495,465,630
Niger4725,130,817
Oman455,223,375
Japan39126,050,804
Pakistan38225,199,937
Burkina Faso3721,497,096
India351,393,409,038
Mali3320,855,735
Iceland33343,353
Nigeria31211,400,708
Gambia312,486,945
Dr Congo2992,377,993
Guinea2813,497,244
Republic Of The Congo275,657,013
Comoros27888,451
Liechtenstein2338,250
Monaco2139,511
Central African Republic164,919,981
San Marino634,017

Incarceration Rates By Country 2021