Comparison of Incarceration Rates for Various Nations

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(Comparison of Incarceration Rates for Various Nations) "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 52 whereas for southern African countries it is 188;
"• in the Americas the median rate for south American countries is 242 whereas for Caribbean countries it is 347;
"• in Asia the median rate for south central Asian countries (mainly the Indian subcontinent) is 74 whereas for central Asian countries it is 166.
"• in Europe the median rate for western European countries is 84 whereas for the countries spanning Europe and Asia (e.g. Russia and Turkey) it is 236.
"• in Oceania the median rate is 155.
"Since about the year 2000 the world prison population total has grown by almost 20%, which is slightly above the estimated 18% increase in the world’s general population over the same period. There are considerable differences between the continents, and variation within continents. The total prison population in Oceania has increased by almost 60% and that in the Americas by over 40%; in Europe, by contrast, the total prison population has decreased by 21%. The European figure reflects large falls in prison populations in Russia and in central and eastern Europe. In the Americas, the prison population has increased by 14% in the USA, by over 80% in central American countries and by 145% in south American countries."


Walmsley, Roy, "World Prison Population List (Eleventh Edition)" (London, England: International Centre for Prison Studies, 2016), p. 2.

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