7 Countries With The Highest Prison Rates

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, at 629 jailed people per 100,000 residents. The U.S. is also the number one country with the most people in prison, at over two million.

United States


Rwanda’s incarceration rate is 580 people per 100,000 citizens. The East African country has over 76,000 people in jail.

Turkmenistan ranks just below Rwanda, with an incarceration rate of 576. The Central Asian country’s prisons have 35,000 people at any given time.


El Salvador

El Salvador’s incarceration rate is 564 per 100,000 residents. Because of its larger population, the Central American country has about 1,600 more people in jail than Turkmenistan.

With an incarceration rate of 510 people for every 100,000 citizens, Cuba makes the top five countries with the world’s highest incarceration rates. The Caribbean island has over 57,000 people in jail.



Palau’s incarceration rate is 478 per 100,000 residents. Because of its tiny population, the Micronesian island country “only” has an average of 86 people at any given time.

The British Virgin Islands may be a beach hub for tourists, but its crime rate of 477 per 100,000 residents turns heads. The Caribbean archipelago has over 140 residents in jail.

British Virgin Islands

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