Prison Population Statistics
Every year the United States Department of Justice puts together a comprehensive list of statistics about people who are incarcerated at facilities all across the country. The information is used to gather information about the number of people who are locked up, the types of crimes they committed and the ethnic backgrounds of the prisoners.
The United States has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. In 2007, there were 2,293,157 people housed in either a state or federal facility, which was an increase of 1.5% from the previous year. At the start of 2008, the U.S. had a record number of people behind bars. The three primary kinds of offenses that prisoners were convicted of were violent crimes, property damage and drug trafficking, in that order.
Statistics from 2007 indicate that 77% of the prison population is made up of males, so therefore 23% of inmates were female. Comparisons with data from 1995 and 2000 indicate that those numbers remain nearly constant from year to year. Out of those locked up, 55% were white, 29% were black, 13% Hispanic or Latino with all other races making up the remaining population.
Estimates conclude that nearly 1 in every 100 adult American will be incarcerated at some point in their lives. Data indicates that certain groups are far more likely to be arrested and sentenced to prison. One out of every 30 white men between the ages of 20 and 34 are incarcerated, and that figure jumps up to a shocking 1 out of 9 for black males in the same age range. Similarly, 1 out of every 355 white women between the ages of 35 and 39 are serving time, whereas 1 out 100 black women are currently locked up.
The population of prisons in America has grown at a far more rapid pace in recent history than ever before, especially for certain racial groups. In 2006, statistics showed that 37% of all incarcerated males were black, and that roughly 4.8% of African American men were in prison at that time. The next largest group included Hispanics, 1.9% of whom were in prison and 0.7% of all white males.
Purchase Museum Tickets
Make a Difference
Become an Investigator
Visit our Crime Library
Join our Blog