State and Federal Prison Populations in the US by Race, Gender, Age, and Ethnicity

"• At year-end 2019, an estimated 47% of sentenced prisoners in the U.S. were ages 25 to 39 (table 9).

"• While almost 22% of all sentenced male prisoners were age 50 or older at year-end 2019, the percentage differed across race or ethnicity, with 28% of white, 20% of black, and 16% of Hispanic sentenced male prisoners in this age group.

"• At year-end 2019, 3.2% of male prisoners and 1.6% of female prisoners sentenced to more than one year in state or federal prison were age 65 or older.

Jail Inmate Population in the US by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

City and county jails in the US held 738,400 people at on June 29, 2018. ("Rates are based on the number of inmates held on the last weekday in June.")

Demographics on that date are as follows:
623,400 male, 115,100 female.
Juveniles: 3,700 held as adults, 600 held as juveniles.
Racial demographics were as follows:
White: 368,500
Black: 242,300
Latinx: 109,300
American Indian/Alaska native: 9,700
Asian/native Hawaiian/other Pacific islander: 4,800
"Other," including two or more races: 2,100

Number of People in the US Serving Time in State and Federal Prisons in 2015 by age, sex, race, and Latinx ethnicity

On December 31, 2015, state and federal prisons combined held a total of 1,476,847 people, of whom 499,400 were non-Latinx whites, 523,000 were non-Latinx blacks, 319,400 Latinx, and 135,100 whose race/ethnicity was counted as "other".

Click here for complete datatable of Number of People in the US Serving Time in State and Federal Prisons, by age, sex, race, and Latinx ethnicity, on December 31, 2015

Prevalence of Substance Use Among Youth in the US, by Race/Ethnicity

"For a number of years, 12th grade African-American students reported lifetime, annual, 30-day, and daily prevalence levels for nearly all drugs that were lower – sometimes dramatically so – than those for White or Hispanic 12th graders. That is less true today, with levels of drug use among African Americans more similar to the other groups. This narrowing of the gap between African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups is also seen in 8th and 10th grade, indicating that this narrowing in 12th grade is almost certainly not due primarily to differential dropout rates.

Incarceration Rates by Race and Gender in the US in 2007

"Changes in the incarceration rates for men and women by race were associated with changes to the overall composition of the custody population at midyear 2007. Black men had an incarceration rate of 4,618 per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2007, down from 4,777 at midyear 2000. For white men, the midyear 2007 incarceration rate was 773 per 100,000 U.S. residents, up from 683 at midyear 2000. The ratio of the incarceration rates of black men to white men declined from 7 to 6 during this period.

People Held in Prisons in 2007, by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age

"Of the 2.3 million inmates in custody, 2.1 million were men and 208,300 were women (table 9). Black males represented the largest percentage (35.4%) of inmates held in custody, followed by white males (32.9%) and Hispanic males (17.9%).

"Over a third (33.8%) of the total male custody population was ages 20 to 29 (appendix table 10). The largest percentage of black (35.5%) and Hispanic (39.9%) males held in custody were ages 20 to 29. White males ages 35 to 44 accounted for the largest percentage (30.1%) of the white male custody population.

Imprisonment Rates In the US By Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

"There were 419 sentenced state or federal prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents of all ages at year-end 2019, a decrease from 432 per 100,000 at year-end 2018 (table 5). The federal imprisonment rate in 2019 was 48 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents, and the state rate was 371 per 100,000. The total imprisonment rate in 2019 (419 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents) was the lowest since 1995. (See appendix table 1.) Since peaking at 506 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents in both 2007 and 2008, the total imprisonment rate has fallen 17%.

Offense Characteristics of People Serving Time In State Prisons in the US, by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

"• Violent offenders made up (55%) of all sentenced state prisoners at year-end 2018 (the most recent year for which such data are available) (tables 13 and 14).

"• An estimated 14% of sentenced state prisoners were serving time for murder or non-negligent manslaughter (177,700), and another 13% were serving time for rape or sexual assault (162,700) on December 31, 2018.

"• At year-end 2018, more than half of sentenced males (58%) and more than a third of sentenced females (38%) were serving time in state prison for a violent offense.

Male Incarceration Rate In The US 2007, By Race/Ethnicity

"The custody incarceration rate for black males was 4,618 per 100,000. Hispanic males were incarcerated at a rate of 1,747 per 100,000. Compared to the estimated numbers of black, white, and Hispanic males in the U.S. resident population, black males (6 times) and Hispanic males (a little more than 2 times) were more likely to be held in custody than white males. At midyear 2007 the estimated incarceration rate of white males was 773 per 100,000.

Number of People Serving Time in Federal Prison in the US, by Offense

"• Forty-seven percent (81,900) of sentenced federal prisoners on September 30, 2016 (the most recent date for which federal offense data are available) were serving time for a drug offense (table 14; table 15).
"• More than a third (38% or 65,900 prisoners) of federal prisoners were imprisoned for a public order offense, including 17% (28,800 federal prisoners) for a weapons offense and 8% (13,300) for an adjudicated immigration offense.