Countries with the most prisoners as of June 2020

As of June 2020, the United States had the highest number of incarcerated individuals worldwide, with more than 2.12 million people in prison. The U.S. was followed by China, Brazil, the Russian Federation, and India.

The incarceration problem

The United States has an incredibly high number of incarcerated individuals. Therefore, the incarceration problem has become a widely contested issue, because it impacts disadvantaged people and minorities the most. Additionally, the prison system has become capitalized by outside corporations which fund prisons, but there is still a high cost to tax-payers. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the amount of private prisons that have been created. For-profit prison companies have come under scrutiny because of their lack of satisfactory staff and widespread lobbying. Violent offenses are the most common type of offense among prisoners in the U.S.

Prisoners in the U.S.

Within OECD countries, the United States had the highest rate of incarceration worldwide, at 655 prisoners per 100,000 residents. This is almost double that of Turkey, the country with the second highest incarceration rate. Within in the United States, Texas had the highest number of prisoners under federal or state jurisdiction, however, it was California that spent the most on corrections.

Countries with the largest number of prisoners, as of June 2020

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

as of June 15, 2020

Supplementary notes

No release date is provided by the source. The data shown here is the date of access.

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Statistics on "Prisoners in the United States"

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