- The United States incarcerates the largest number of people in the world. The U.S. incarceration rate is four times the world average.
- Some individual US states imprison up to six times as many people as do nations of comparable population ad well, the US imprisons the most women in the world. The
number of women sentenced to prison in China in 2003 was 71,280, while the number of
women sentenced to a year or more in prison in the US was 92,785. The rate of
imprisonment of women in China is approximately one-fifth that of the US.
- The United States has less than
5% of the worldâ€™s
population but over
23% of the worldâ€™s
- Compared to the world's other
most populous countries, the
2.2 million people
incarcerated in the US in 2006 was 153%
higher than Russia, 505% higher
than Brazil, 550% higher than
India, and over 2,000% higher
than Indonesia, Bangladesh, or
- US rates are in large part driven by disproportionate minority incarceration. If the rest of the world followed the US lead on incarceration policies and
practices, the total number incarcerated worldwide would increase fivefold
from 9.2 million to 47.6 million.
Top 5 facts sources: Research from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Fact sheet, November 2006.