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Prison Population By State 2021

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This is despite the national incarceration rate being at its lowest in 20 years. About 25% of the world’s total prison population is in the United States, which holds about 2.19 million prisoners as of 2019 (1.38 million in federal and state prisons, 745,200 in jails).

Mass incarceration in the United States has led to several problems. Among these are overcrowded prisons, which lead to increased health risks and decreased psychological well-being.

Additionally, the increasing number of prisoners puts a major strain on state budgets. State prisons spend as high as $69,355 per inmate (the average cost of an inmate in New York). Prisons control and administer all aspects of life for inmates, resulting in a long list of costly necessities. Costs include food, recreational activities, educational opportunities, adequate security, utility costs, infrastructure maintenance, and health care.

Mass incarceration in the United States is a civil rights issue. Many argue that incarceration dehumanizes poor people and minorities, damaging already marginalized communities, and does not increase public safety. Additionally, high recidivism rates show that incarceration is ineffective and harmful to offenders, their families, the victims, and law enforcement if an offender does time without proper counseling and assimilation back into their community. Many prisoners have difficulty reestablishing relationships, finding jobs, and staying away from criminal activity after being released.

The United States has about 437 prisoners per 100,000 people as of the end of 2019, a 2.6% drop from 2018. As of 2018, the imprisonment rate of black males was 5.8 times greater than that of white males, and the imprisonment rate of black females was 1.8 times greater than the of white females. New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts have the lowest prison incarceration rates of under 200 per 100,000 people.

The ten states with the highest prison populations in the country are:

  1. Texas - 154,479
  2. California - 122,417
  3. Florida - 96,009
  4. Georgia - 54,113
  5. Ohio - 50,338
  6. Pennsylvania - 45,485
  7. New York - 43,439
  8. Arizona - 40,951
  9. Illinois - 38,259
  10. Michigan - 38,053

In terms of imprisonment rate per 100,000 people, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have the highest rates, 680, 639, and 636, respectively.

Here are the 10 states with the highest prison rates:

  1. Louisiana (683 per 100k)
  2. Mississippi (638 per 100k)
  3. Oklahoma (635 per 100k)
  4. Arkansas (584 per 100k)
  5. Arizona (545 per 100k)
  6. Texas (520 per 100k)
  7. Kentucky (515 per 100k)
  8. Georgia (500 per 100k)
  9. Idaho (461 per 100k)
  10. Florida (438 per 100k)

Prison Population By State 2021

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Prison Population By State 2021

State Imprisonment Rate (per 100K) Total Prison Population 2021 Pop.
Louisiana68331,5844,627,002
Mississippi63818,9152,966,407
Oklahoma63525,3383,990,443
Arkansas58417,7133,033,946
Arizona54540,9517,520,103
Texas520154,47929,730,311
Kentucky51523,0824,480,713
Georgia50054,11310,830,007
Idaho4618,5711,860,123
Florida43896,00921,944,577
Montana4354,7231,085,004
Ohio43050,33811,714,618
Wyoming4272,479581,075
South Dakota4233,797896,581
Missouri42226,0386,169,038
Virginia41936,0918,603,985
Delaware4184,141990,334
Alabama41720,5954,934,193
Nevada40312,8403,185,786
Indiana39626,9696,805,663
West Virginia3856,8001,767,859
Michigan38138,0539,992,427
Tennessee37926,3496,944,260
Wisconsin37722,0395,852,490
Pennsylvania35545,48512,804,123
Oregon34814,9434,289,439
South Carolina34718,2955,277,830
Kansas3429,9652,917,224
Colorado33619,7855,893,634
New Mexico3156,6342,105,005
California309122,41739,613,493
North Carolina30933,04210,701,022
Maryland30518,4766,065,436
Illinois30438,25912,569,321
Iowa2929,2603,167,974
Nebraska2875,5961,951,996
Connecticut2468,7513,552,821
Washington24619,1847,796,941
Alaska2461,782724,357
North Dakota2291,767770,026
New York22543,43919,299,981
Hawaii2163,0371,406,430
New Jersey21018,6138,874,520
Utah2016,6623,310,774
New Hampshire1962,6911,372,203
Vermont1821,137623,251
Minnesota1759,9825,706,398
Rhode Island1561,6561,061,509
Maine1451,9671,354,522
Massachusetts1097,5036,912,239

Prison Population By State 2021