The US Has The Highest Incarceration Rate In The World

"• The countries with the highest prison population rate – that is, the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the national population – are the United States (655 per 100,000), followed by El Salvador (604), Turkmenistan (552), U.S. Virgin Islands (542), Thailand (526), Cuba (510), Maldives (499), Northern Mariana Islands – U.S.A. (482), British Virgin Islands (470), Rwanda (464), Bahamas (438), Seychelles (437), Grenada (435), St Vincent and the Grenadines (426), Guam–U.S.A. (404) and Russian Federation (402).

"• However, more than half of all countries and territories (53%) have rates below 150 per 100,000.

"• The world prison population rate, based on United Nations estimates of national population levels, is 145 per 100,000."

(Editor's Note: In the World Prison Population report, "prisoners" includes people incarcerated in both prisons and jails in the US.)


Walmsley, Roy, "World Prison Population List (Twelfth Edition)" (London, England: International Centre for Prison Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, Nov. 2018), p. 2.