International Imprisonment Rates

The United States of America had the second highest imprisonment rate of surveyed countries worldwide in 2015, at 693 prisoners per 100,000 people. (The Republic of Seychelles had the highest rate at 799 per 100,000 people.)

By contrast, Australia had an imprisonment rate of 152 prisoners per 100,000 people, and Victoria had a rate of 105 prisoners per 100,000 people. (These rates are lower than the rates per 100,000 adults in Australia.) New Zealand’s imprisonment rate was 203 prisoners per 100,000 people.

Graph and table: the imprisonment rates (per 100,000 people) for select countries and Victoria in 2015

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Nation Imprisonment rate
United States of America 693
Russian Federation 447
Thailand 441
South Africa 292
Georgia 263
Singapore 219
New Zealand 203
Australia 152
England & Wales 146
Spain 131
Malta 131
China (sentenced prisoners only) 118
Canada 114
Victoria (Australia) 105
Greece 89
Republic of Ireland 79
Indonesia 69
Denmark 58
Japan 47
Pakistan 43
India 33

Source: Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Highest to Lowest: Prison Population Rate, World Prison Brief (accessed 28 October 2016) (external link opens in a new window)