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World Prison Population List

(ninth edition)
Roy Walmsley
Introduction
This ninth edition of the World Prison Population List gives details of the number of prisoners held in 218 independent countries and dependent territories. It shows the differences in the level of imprisonment across the world and makes possible an estimate of the world prison population total. The information is the latest available in early May 2011. The first five editions of the List were published by the Research and Statistics Directorate of the UK Home Office; this is the fourth to be published by the International Centre for Prison Studies and it complements the information which ICPS already publishes and updates monthly on the World Prison Brief section of its website www.prisonstudies.org. The World Prison Population List is compiled from a variety of sources. In almost all cases the original source is the national prison administration of the country concerned, or else the Ministry responsible for the prison administration. Most figures relate to dates between the end of 2008 and the beginning of May 2011. Since prison population rates (per 100,000 of the national population) are based on estimates of the national population they should not be regarded as precise. In order to compare prison population rates in different regions of the world, and to estimate the number of persons held in prison in the countries for which information is not available, median rates have been used because they minimise the effect of countries with rates that are untypically high or low. A number of points need to be noted. Figures are not available for seven countries and the information does not relate to the same date. Comparability is further compromised by different practice in different countries, for example with regard to whether all pre-trial detainees and juveniles are held under the authority of the prison administration, and also whether the prison administration is responsible for psychiatrically ill offenders and offenders being detained for treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction. People held in a form of custody which is not under the authority of the prison administration are usually omitted from official national totals. It is hoped that this edition of the World Prison Population List will be found useful by those who are studying the use of imprisonment world-wide or are interested in variations in criminal justice practice. The data may prompt fresh thought among policymakers and other criminal justice experts about the size of the prison population in their country, given the high costs and disputed efficacy of imprisonment.

Key points
C More than 10.1 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the world, mostly as pretrial detainees/remand prisoners or as sentenced prisoners. Almost half of these are in the United States (2.29m), Russia (0.81m) or China (1.65m sentenced prisoners). In addition more than 650,000 are in ‘detention centres’ in China; if these are included the overall Chinese total is over 2.3 million and the world total more than 10.75 million. C The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, 743 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by Rwanda (c. 595), Russia (568), Georgia (547), U.S. Virgin Is. (539), Seychelles (507), St Kitts & Nevis (495), British Virgin Is. (468), Belize (439), Dominica (431), Bermuda (428), Grenada (423) and Curacao (422). C However, more than half the countries and territories (54%) have rates below 150 per 100,000. C The world population at mid-2010 was estimated at 6.9 billion (United Nations); if set against the world prison population of 10.1 million this would produce a world prison population rate of 146 per 100,000 (156 per 100,000 if set against a world prison population of 10.75 million). C Prison population rates vary considerably between different regions of the world, and between different parts of the same continent. For example: •• in Africa the median rate for western African countries is 47.5 whereas for southern African countries it is 219; •• in the Americas the median rate for south American countries is 175 whereas for Caribbean countries it is 357.5; •• in Asia the median rate for south central Asian countries (mainly the Indian sub-continent) is 42 whereas for eastern Asian countries it is 155.5; •• in Europe the median rate for western European countries is 96 whereas for the countries spanning Europe and Asia (e.g. Russia & Turkey) it is 228. •• in Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand) the median rate is 135. C Prison populations are growing in all five continents. Updated information on countries included in previous editions of the World Prison Population List shows that prison populations have risen in 78% of countries (in 71% of countries in Africa, 82% in the Americas, 80% in Asia, 74% in Europe and 80% in Oceania).

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183 9/09 18. Africa: Equatorial Guinea.2m 56 NPA 2.307 1/10/07 810.000 30/4/11 161. Gambia Ghana Guinea (Conakry) Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo 780 31/12/09 1.43m 164 NPA 81 United Nations 10th Survey 203 NPA 189 Ministry of Justice 45 NPA 297 Ministry of Justice Ombudsman’s report.4m 120 Legal Resources Foundation Trust Madagascar 18. Seychelles Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe Mayotte (France) Réunion (France) 432 17/11/10 85.143* 30/9/08 19.000 161 French Ministry of Justice 5. Africa: Guinea Bissau.45m 19.29m 159. justice experts. 196 Sao Tome e Principe 305 /10 165. Rep.242 8/4/10 6.7m 119 Central African Rep.628 19/10/09 1.000 104 Mayotte prison administration 1.780 12/08 9. of Congo c. 85.216 2/9/09 1.8m c.144 mid-09 42.74m 39 NPA 4.200 507 US State Dep’t human rights report 40.000 c.672 31/12/10 15.000 1/04 52.573 9/8/10 24. Somalia.249 10/10 23.2m 267 NPA 120 NPA 186 NPA 316 NPA 219 NPA Southern Africa Botswana Lesotho Namibia South Africa Swaziland Figures not available W.1m c.0m 89 US State Dep’t human rights report 15.85m 28 United Nations 11th Survey 1. D.52m 61.757 31/12/10 41.405 31/8/10 32.000 of national population) Source of prison population total Northern Africa Algeria Egypt Libya Morocco Sudan Tunisia 58.42m c.000 31/12/10 3.000 185 Eastern Africa Burundi 9.0m 92 NPA 30. Africa: Eritrea.647 6/10 20. Benin US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report Western Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cape Verde Côte d’Ivoire 6.000 /10 35.116 11/10/10 7.237 31/10/10 5. pre-trial detainees) Estimated national population Prison population rate (per 100.Congo US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report Central Africa Angola 16.000 31/12/10 16.238 /10 16.368 31/12/09 19.1m 37 US State Dep’t human rights report 6. 1.8m c.4m c.2m 75 5. 62. 1.111 1/9/09 44.44m 2.000 1/11 10.550 12/09 12. 19 US State Dep’t human rights report Djibouti c.35m 13.450 31/12/10 86.91m 73 US State Dep’t human rights report Mauritius 2.700 mid-09 13. 595* US State Dep’t human rights report *Prison population includes many thousands sentenced or awaiting trial in connection with the genocide of 1994.73m 45 US State Dep’t human rights report 13.4m c.6m 87 Cameroon 23.8m 56* *Relates only to prisons under Government control. 57 Gabon c. 99 US State Dep’t human rights report Kenya 49.000 c.251 1/12/10 2.2m 31 NPA 7.0m 59 US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report US State Dep’t human rights report Crim. E.29m 182 US State Dep’t human rights report Mozambique 15.30.56m 65 NPA Rwanda c. 43 US State Dep’t human rights report 50.544 mid-09 12. 68 US State Dep’t human rights report Ethiopia c.1m 93 US State Dep’t human rights report Malawi 11. 121 NPA 211 4/11 203.2m c.World Prison Population List (ninth edition) Table 1 AFRICA Prison population total Date (no. 130 31/12/10 700.9m 120 NPA c.000 c.5m 29 Chad 3.750 2/06 1.42m 64.354 30/11/09 1. 2.1m 34 Congo (Brazzaville) c.378 31/12/06 79.3m 31.000* 31/12/10 10. 253 11.498 /10 2.62m 114 NPA Comoros c.416 8/05 10. in penal institutions incl.95m 2.37m 50 US State Dep’t human rights report c. 26 Dem. C.700 /10 3.265 28/2/11 50.300 /10 513. 600 /10 879.68m 60 Ministry of Justice 2.08m 4. 7. 1.0m 52 Paralegal Advisory Service Institute 1.908 /10 9.000 10/10 12.312 31/8/10 34.524 /10 4. 15.320 12/10 4.844 12/10 8.3m 32 c.R. 2 .

000 11.4m 52. prison administration 539 US Virgin Is.14m 8.7m 4.000 277 6/07 103.331 31/12/10 9.000 6.461 10/10 29.000 6.611 31/12/08 40.330 30/11/10 110.4m 278 /09 65.67m 24. 1/4/2008-31/3/2009.22m 84.846 12/10 7.000 of national population) 117 743 428 340 Source of prison population total North America Canada 08-09 33. pre-trial detainees) 39.251 12/10 196.133 31/12/09 308. including young offenders.000 c.000 12.000 60.500 551 21/12/10 175.146 7/09 6.000 914 25/2/11 407.293 9/10 3.9m 440 /10 104. UK 269 Council of Europe CPT report 361 Government publication 422 Council of Europe CPT report 168 Report by French Senate 225 Report by French Senate 303 US Bureau of Justice Statistics 374 Ministry of Justice. prison administration 151 Ministry of Justice 87 NPA 253 NPA 305 NPA 181 NPA 86 NPA 284 NPA 97 NPA 159 NPA 175 US State Dep’t human rights report 261 NPA 149 Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones Report by French Senate Caribbean Antigua & Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti Jamaica St Kitts & Nevis St Lucia St Vincent & Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago Anguilla (UK) Aruba (Netherlands) Cayman Islands (UK) Curacao (Netherlands) Guadeloupe (France) Martinique (France) Puerto Rico (US) St Maarten (Netherlands) Virgin Islands (UK) Virgin Islands (US) South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela French Guiana/ Guyane (France) Figures not available c.164 3/11 29.000 3.7m 260 20/4/11 52.000 21.396 4/11 318.78m 2.3m 58 /09 15.0m 140 10/2/11 37.709 1/10/07 2.7m 12.35m 47. USA Bermuda (UK) Greenland (Denmark) 2.000 194 1/12/09 57. Carranza.500 1.000 1.39m 11.World Prison Population List (ninth edition) Table 2 AMERICAS Prison population total Date (no. via E.900 590 6/6/07 139.840 784 1/3/11 466.292.140 7/10 14.000 413 /10 109. St Maarten 468 British Virgin Is.400 117 7/10 25. ILANUD 349 NPA 330 US State Dep’t human rights report 382 US State Dep’t human rights report 354 NPA 431 US State Dep’t human rights report 213 Chief Inspector of Prisons 423 US State Dep’t human rights report 55 US State Dep’t human rights report 174 NPA 495 ‘Jail Delivery’ report 315 US State Dep’t human rights report 379 US State Dep’t human rights report 276 NPA 387 Parliamentary Answer. 3 .75m 915 31/12/09 522.635 15/12/10 4.000 5.050 25/8/10 9.9m 6.200 289 29/12/10 67.03m 496.000 587 1/1/11 109.444 31/12/10 46.800 7/10 13. 680 18/2/11 229.37m 43.700 7/10 10.21m 11.000 910 10/10 257.69m 222.52m 295 15/12/10 89.000 198 avrge 09 54.283 12/10 6.130 31/12/08 4.563 30/4/11 17.122 31/10/10 761.322 /10 346.803 30/6/08 5.4m Statistics Canada US Bureau of Justice Statistics Bermuda prison administration Danish NPA *Average daily population.132* Estimated national population Prison population rate (per 100. in penal institutions incl.17m Central America Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama 439 NPA 249 NPA 391 NPA 77 NPA 154 US State Dep’t human rights report 200 NPA 119 NPA.783 31/8/10 3. 297 Caribbean: Cuba.61m 11.591 26/1/10 1.

42. Asia-Pacific annual conference 111 NPA 265 US State Dep’t human rights report 328 NPA 20 Independent needs assessment team 122* NPA.403 /02 2. Eastern Asia: Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).93m 117.000 /09 27.0m *Sentenced prisoners only.283 11/10 29.163 /10 5.13m 108.17m 9.000 136 Ministry of the Interior 31.725 3/09 7. Asia-Pacific annual conference 10.420 31/1/11 23.41m 379 mid-10 407.0m 102.000 of national population) Source of prison population total Western Asia Bahrain Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia Syria United Arab Emirates Yemen 1.8m 38.313* /09 23.91m 60.476 mid-10 127.000 14.1m 935 31/10/10 550.9m 45.World Prison Population List (ninth edition) Table 3 ASIA Prison population total Date (no.798 mid-10 20.053 mid-09 50.0m 12.7m 1.000* Japan Korea (Republic of) Mongolia Taiwan Hong Kong (China) Macau (China) Figures not available mid-10 1.6m 7.953 /06 4.192.000 *Sentenced prisoners only.043 15/12/10 14.5m 69.56m 384. Asia-Pacific annual conference 69 NPA 138 NPA. Asia-Pacific annual conference Ministry of Justice US State Dep’t human rights report Ministry of Justice Hong Kong prison administration Macau statistical directorate (DSEC) *Sentenced prisoners only.15m 130 NPA 10.25m 75. via Penal Reform International 10.000 3/11 75.557* mid-10 89.125* /04 328.552 1/3/11 15.586 31/12/10 186.34m 41 United Nations 11th Survey 44.1m 220.5m 4. Asia-Pacific annual conference 94 NPA 51 NPA.7m 64.317 12/10 7.89m 224.7m 26.599 /04 18.267 6/09 92. 4 .020 mid-04 5.645 31/12/09 31.292 1/3/11 68.600 1/09 25.05m 137 US State Dep’t human rights report 5.650.650 31/12/10 165.13m 319 Ministry of Public Security c. Asia-Pacific annual conference 93 NPA.1m 122* 58 94 269 278 141 170 NPA.000 South Central Asia: Bhutan. Asia-Pacific annual conference NPA. Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan 55.681 31/12/10 48. Asia-Pacific annual conference 120 NPA.58m 48* Ministry of the Interior *Ministry of the Interior prisons only. in penal institutions incl.22m 121 NPA 1.387 mid-10 27.122 5/09 4. 74. The total does not include those in pre-trial detention or ‘administrative detention’.3m 101 UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) 22.4m c. pre-trial detainees) Estimated national population Prison population rate (per 100.193 /06 4.7m 238 United Nations 10th Survey 11.55m 183 US State Dep’t human rights report 9.83m 351 NPA.988 31/12/10 7.2m 58 United Nations 9th Survey 11.5m c.500 1/12/09 6. 133 US State Dep’t human rights report 4.4m 223 /09 1.753 31/12/08 1. South Eastern Asia Brunei Darussalam Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar (Burma) Philippines Singapore Thailand Timor-Leste Vietnam Eastern Asia China 1. 8.100 /10 807.265 /10 2.179 /10 3.923 3/11 30.9m 224 United Nations 10th Survey c. South Central Asia Afghanistan Bangladesh India Iran Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka 62 Ministry of Justice 42 Ministry of Home Affairs 32 National Crime Records Bureau 291 NPA 343* United Nations 9th Survey 36 NPA 40 Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 131 NPA.0m 178 NPA 10.863 mid-10 232.354.3m 61 United Nations 8th Survey 551 31/12/08 1.978 31/12/10 4. 153 NPA 18.

100* 110 C of E Annual Penal Statistics *Does not include the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Netherlands Switzerland 15.000 *Metropolitan France.25m 9.000 29/4/11 5.046 31/12/10 1.100 4.561 1/3/10 10.94m 7. Luxembourg Monaco 139 NPA 70* C of E Annual Penal Statistics 94 NPA 79 Swiss Federal Statistical Office 156 228 547 Ministry of Justice C of E Annual Penal Statistics NPA.750 0* C of E Annual Penal Statistics *By agreement with Italy.65m 113 NPA 2* 1/9/09 30.3m 73 US State Dep’t human rights report 1. Russian Federation Turkey 568 NPA 168 NPA 5 .000 192 25/11/10 93.World Prison Population List (ninth edition) Table 4 EUROPE Prison population total Date (no.200 97 31/12/10 80.200 1/9/09 33.31m 3. some persons imprisoned by Monaco are held in French prisons. Serbia 63 NPA 159 NPA 169 Gibraltar prison administration 103 NPA 97 Ministry of Justice 96 NPA 85 19* German Federal Statistical Office US State Dep’t human rights report Western Europe Austria Belgium France 8. Srpska prison administration 5.700 227 US State Dep’t human rights report 12.482 1/9/09 3.655* 1/7/08 62.038 1/5/11 10.450 31/12/10 2.329 11/10 2.671 31/12/10 2. excluding departments and territories in Africa.800 140 Ministry of Justice & Home Affairs 1.3m 102 NPA 67.06m Spain 73.19m 61 31/12/10 83.85m 59.10m* 69. in penal institutions incl. (Denmark) Guernsey (UK) Isle of Man (UK) Jersey (UK) 4.304 31/12/10 2.547 1/12/09 11.091 1/4/11 5.000 26/3/10 7.139 1/1/11 3.96m 23.04m 114 Ombudsman. 11.604 30/4/10 16.34m 3.38m 189 1/11 315. Germany Liechtenstein *By agreement with Austria.24m 11 avrge 09 48.95m Europe/Asia Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia * Does not include Abkhazia and South Ossetia.995* 30/4/11 4.32m 84.09m 20.20m Gibraltar (UK) 50 31/12/09 29.055 1/1/10 2. via Penal Reform International *By agreement with France.68m 111 Ministry of Justice c.850 69 31/12/10 66.49m 7.189 1/1/11 5.000 of national population) Source of prison population total Northern Europe Denmark Estonia Finland Iceland Ireland Latvia Lithuania Norway Sweden United Kingdom – England & Wales – Northern Ireland – Scotland Faeroe Is. pre-trial detainees) Estimated national population Prison population rate (per 100.500 164 Ombudsman.438 10/10 633. 1.181 1/9/10 7.658 avrge 10 8.4m 75 Rep.39m 10.42m 117 NPA 883* 1/9/09 801.81m 8.074 30/4/11 73.050 706 23* 1/6/10 507.80m 4.495 5/11 4. 66 US State Dep’t human rights report 2.602 1/5/11 4.106 1/10/10 9. the Americas and Oceania. which have declared independence from Georgia.39m* 806.615 28/2/11 60.470 1/9/09 8. some persons imprisoned by Liechtenstein are held in Austrian prisons.100 1/5/11 141.20m c.165 1/1/11 4.883 15/4/11 55.44m 1. most persons imprisoned by San Marino are held in Italian prisons.62m 7* avrge 10 36. Serbia 12.56m 3.30m Slovenia 1.61m 6. Macedonia 583 4/10 417.900 4.93m 124.700 74 NPA 254 Ministry of Justice 59 NPA 60 NPA 100 Department of Justice & Equality 314 NPA 276 NPA 73 NPA 78 NPA 153 Ministry of Justice 90 NPA 153 NPA 23 Danish NPA 104 Guernsey prison administration 121 Isle of Man prison administration 206 Jersey prison administration 141 73 C of E Annual Penal Statistics Ministry of Justice & the Interior Southern Europe Albania Andorra Bosnia & Herzegovina – Federation – Republika Srpska Croatia Cyprus Greece Italy Kosovo/Kosova Macedonia (F Yug Rep) Malta Montenegro Portugal San Marino 1.405 28/3/11 1.385 30/11/10 81.459 29/4/11 46.807 avrge 10 3.628 25/4/11 1.

56m 16.126 26/4/11 21.00m 6.755 31/3/11 4. At ICPS he is director of the World Prison Brief.027 1/1/11 45.org He has also produced the World Female Imprisonment List (2006) and the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List (2008).000 Kiribati 102 8/10 100.ac.400 New Zealand 8.44m 154.41m 10.500 Guam (US) 559 12/7/10 176.500 Micronesia.300 Marshall Islands 43 12/10 63.401 30/4/11 38.World Prison Population List (ninth edition) Table 4 cont. which complement the World Prison Population List and the World Prison Brief and were both published by ICPS. EUROPE Belarus Bulgaria Czech Republic Hungary Moldova Poland Romania Slovakia Ukraine Prison population total Date (no. in penal institutions incl.prisonstudies.org 1 New Street Square London EC4A 3BF Email admin@icps.uk 6 .324* 1/1/11 3. in penal institutions incl.750 Cook Islands (NZ) 27 4/05 21.000 Tonga 159 31/12/10 104.essex.000 of national population) Source of prison population total Central and Eastern Europe 36. (US) 124 31/12/08 87.prisonstudies.533 1/6/09 9. University of Essex.150 1/9/10 855.000 of national population) Source of prison population total Australia 29.000 Northern Mariana Is.071 1/12/09 7.34m Fiji 1.21m 29.600 133 Australian Bureau of Statistics 135 NPA 102 US State Dep’t human rights report 68 Ministry of Justice 90 US State Dep’t human rights report 139 US State Dep’t human rights report 199 NPA 378 US State Dep’t human rights report 61 US State Dep’t human rights report 168 US State Dep’t human rights report 49 US State Dep’t human rights report 153 US State Dep’t human rights report 80 US State Dep’t human rights report 76 NPA 198 US Bureau of Justice Statistics 126 NPA 153 French Ministry of Justice 318 Guam prison administration 133 French Ministry of Justice 142 US Bureau of Justice Statistics Abbreviations C of E CPT ILANUD NPA Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment United Nations Latin American Institute National prison administration Roy Walmsley is a consultant to the United Nations and an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS).900 Papua New Guinea 4.59m 9.028 27/4/11 10.000 New Caledonia (France) 326 1/10/07 245.97m Samoa 300 31/12/10 179. International Centre for Prison Studies Tel: 00 44 (0) 20 7842 8505 1st Floor The Merchant Centre Website www.031 31/12/10 5.200 Tuvalu 8 10/10 10.268 31/12/10 6. pre-trial detainees) Estimated national population Prison population rate (per 100.700 30/6/10 22.58m 23.000 American Samoa (US) 132 31/12/08 66.000 Vanuatu 187 9/3/10 246. Table 5 OCEANIA Prison population total Date (no.56m* 83. which is available free of charge at www. Fed States of 100 31/12/10 111. a comprehensive database of information on the prison systems of the world.537 12/10 10.60m 381 Parliamentary Committee Chairman 120 NPA 218 NPA 165 NPA 178 NPA 218 NPA 136 NPA 184 NPA 338 NPA *Does not include the internationally unrecognised Transdniestria/Transnistria/Pridnestrovie.400 French Polynesia (France) 404 1/10/07 264. pre-trial detainees) Estimated national population Prison population rate (per 100.41m Palau 79 /10 20.000 Solomon Islands 265 31/12/10 542.200 Nauru 20 31/12/10 14.