Jail - Population Statistics

Population Statistics

See also: List of countries by incarceration rate

As of 2010, it is estimated that at least 10.1 million people are currently imprisoned worldwide. It is probable that this number is much higher, in view of general under-reporting and a lack of data from various countries, especially authoritarian regimes.

The United States currently has the world's largest prison population. In 2007, there were over 2 million people in American prisons or jails, up from 744,000 in 1985. That same year, it was also reported that the United States government spent an estimated $37 billion to maintain these prisons. In 2012, the United States prison population was estimated at over 2.3 million prisoners, meaning 1 in every 100 American adults are in a prison. The cost of these prisons was then estimated at $74 billion per year.

If observers of prisons can agree upon one fact, it is that American prisons are overcrowded at the moment. In the United States, as of 2009, California had 158,000 inmates in prisons that were designed to hold 84,000. The result was that almost 14,000 inmates were sleeping in very tight spaces, or in hallways or on floors. Prisons all over the nation are overcrowded, and people are being incarcerated at an increasing rate, whereas the new prisons cannot be built fast enough.

China's prison population is about 1.6 million. The prison population of India is 332,112.

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