Australia's Imprisonment Rates

As at June 2015, Victoria had the third lowest rate of imprisonment in Australia (134.4 prisoners per 100,000 adults). The lowest rates were in Tasmania (129.6 prisons per 100,000 adults) and the Australian Capital Territory (131.3 per 100,000 adults).

The national rate was 195.8 per 100,000 adults.

By contrast, the Northern Territory had the highest rate of imprisonment in Australia (885.1 per 100,000 adults). This is significantly higher than all other states and territories. Western Australia’s rate of imprisonment (278.2 per 100,000 adults) was also substantially higher than the national average.

You can find estimates of the 2016 imprisonment rate in Victoria (based on population projections) in our report Victoria’s Prison Population 2005 to 2016.

Graph and table: the imprisonment rate (per 100,000 adults) for each Australian state and territory at June 2015

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Jurisdiction Rate (Prisoners per 100,000 adults)
New South Wales 199.9
Victoria 134.4
Queensland 197.7
South Australia 204.4
Western Australia 278.2
Tasmania 129.6
Northern Territory 885.1
Australian Capital Territory 131.3
Australia 195.8

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Prisoners in Australia, Cat. No. 4517.0 (2015) (external link opens in a new window)