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banner image: Prisons around the world

England and Wales have the highest per capita prison population in Western Europe - 143 people per 100,000.

Scotland, where 135 people out of every 100,000 are in jail, is also above average. Northern Ireland, however, is among those countries with the lowest rates of imprisonment.

Italy's prisons are the most crowded, with an occupancy level of 131.5%. Belgium has the most un-sentenced prisoners and the Netherlands has the most women prisoners.

To see how the UK compares to the rest of the world, click on the tab at the top of this page



CountryPrison populationPopulation per 100,000Jail occupancy level %Un-sentenced prisoners %Women prisoners %
ENGLAND/WALES80,002148112.716.45.5
GERMANY77,1669496.517.15.3
SPAIN63,991144129.523.58
ITALY61,721104131.535.94.8
FRANCE52,00985109.931.53.6
NETHERLANDS21,01312895.6308.7
PORTUGAL12,765120103.723.87
BELGIUM9,59791110.637.24.2
AUSTRIA8,766105107.222.65.3
SWEDEN7,45082102.720.35.2
SCOTLAND6,872134107.5214.4
SWITZERLAND6,1118393.4395.4
FINLAND3,95475112.411.66.3
NORWAY3,0486692.115.94.8
N IRELAND1,3757991.537.42.2
SOURCE: International Centre for Prison Studies

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