BEHIND BARS: Europe's 20 Most Imprisoned Countries

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The International centre for Prison Studies regularly compiles a list detailing the world’s prison population.

The U.S. imprisoned nation on the planet. According to the organisation, 756 people for every 100,000 are behind bars in America.

However, there are some European countries that aren’t far behind.

Using the number of people in prison per 100,000 of the population, we’ve ranked Europe’s most imprisoned countries.

NB — There’s definitely a geographical trend here, but there are also some wildcards that may surprise you.

#20 Romania

Population: 21.49 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 124

Total prison population: 26,551

SOURCE: ICPS

#19 Bulgaria

Population: 7.64 million

Prison population per 100,000 of the population: 134

Total prison population: 10,271

SOURCE: ICPS


#18 Turkey

Population: 71.33 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 142

Total prison population: 101,100

SOURCE: ICPS

#17 Slovakia

Population: 5.40 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 148

Total prison population: 7,986

SOURCE: ICPS

#16 Hungary

Population: 10.04 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 149

Total prison population: 14,911

SOURCE: ICPS

#15 United Kingdom

Population: 61.78 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 151*

Total prison population: 93,247

SOURCE: ICPS

*The figures for the United Kingdom do not include the recent growth in prison population due to the widespread national riots. It has been reported by various sources that the prison population of England and Wales (not the whole UK) has now risen to 87,120. Even taking this figure into account, the UK's prison population per 100,000, which is 157, does not change it's rank on this listing.

#14 Albania

Population: 3.18 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 159

Total prison population: 5,041

SOURCE: ICPS

#13 Luxembourg

Population: 481,000

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 155

Total prison population: 745

SOURCE: ICPS

#12 Spain

Population: 46.02 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 160

Total prison population: 73,687

SOURCE: ICPS

#11 Czech Republic

Population: 10.38 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 182

Total prison population: 18,901

SOURCE: ICPS

#10 Poland

Population: 38.11 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 221

Total prison population: 84,321

SOURCE: ICPS

#9 Moldova

Population: 3.58 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 227

Total prison population: 8,130

SOURCE: ICPS

#8 Azerbaijan

Population: 8.53 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 229

Total prison population: 19,559

SOURCE: ICPS

#7 Lithuania

Population: 3.36 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 234

Total prison population: 7,866

SOURCE: ICPS

#6 Estonia

Population: 1.34 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of population: 259

Total prison population: 3,467

SOURCE: ICPS

#5 Latvia

Population: 2.27 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 288

Total prison population: 6,548

SOURCE: ICPS

#4 Ukraine

Population: 46.37 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 323

Total prison population: 149,690

SOURCE: ICPS

#3 Georgia

Population: 4.38 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 415

Total prison population: 18,170

SOURCE: ICPS

#2 Belarus

Population: 9.71 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 468

Total prison population: 45,416

SOURCE: ICPS

And in at #1...Russia!

Population: 141.83 million

Prisoners per 100,000 of the population: 629

Total prison population: 891,738

See Also: BANNED IN THE EU: 11 Banned European Advertisements

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