Crime and Incarceration Statistics per Country

Color Coding Key:

GREEN: Countries ranking first or second in statistic
RED: Countries ranking last or second to last in statistic

The United States' crime rate is paradoxicallly disproportionate to its incredibly high incarceration rate.

  Average firearms per 100 people Homicides/ 100,000 Total # of adults in prison Prisoners/ 100,000 Executions 2012 Death Penalty Perception of Safety Safety and security ranking
Australia 15.0 1.1 29,383 130 0 no 64 16
Canada 30.8 1.5 38,691 114 0 no 79 7
Denmark 12.0 0.8 3,820 68 0 no 79 8
France 31.2 1.8 67,977 102 0 no 63 30
Germany 30.3 .8 64,379 79 0 no 78 21
Italy 11.9 .9 64,873 79 0 no 52 39
Japan 0.6 0.3 68,873 54 7 yes 69 25
Netherlands 15 .9 13,749 82 0 no 79 17
Norway 31.3 2.3 3,575 71 0 no 81 6
Sweden 31.6 .9 6,364 67 0 no 78 3
United Kingdom 6.2 1.0 84,066 147 0 no 70 22
United States 88.8 4.7 2,234,751 716 46 yes 75 31

Sources:

View Small Arms Survey reportView Graphical Data

UK numbers for England and Wales as listed by source. Scotland: 5.5; Northern Ireland: 21.9. For 2007.

View UNODC homicide statisticsView Graphical Data

For 2011

View ICPS dataView Graphical Data

For most recent year, 2010-13. Prison population rates per 100,000. The US rate for adults (excluding children) is about 1,000 per 100,000.

View Amnesty International execution statistics

For 2012.

View HDRView Graphical Data

Percentage of respondents answering "yes" to the Gallup World Poll question, "Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?" for 2007-11.

Visit Legatum Prosperity Index

For 2013. Attempts to answer, "How does the personal safety of citizens and the national security of a nation relate to growth in per capita income and higher levels of wellbeing?" Uses the following wealth indicators (ordered by weight): group grievances, regugees and internally displaced persons, state sponsored political violence, theft, assault, safe walking home at night alone; and the following well-being indicators (ordered by weight): safe walking alone at night, express political opinion without fear or concern, group grievances, state sponsored political violence, demographic instability, refugees and internally displaced persons, human flight, assault, and civil war.

Notes:

"Millions in the Slammer..." Nomi Prins

"Millions in the Slammer: We Must Reverse America's Zeal to Incarcerate" from The Women's International Perspective, December 30, 2007.

Reports that the federal prison system has:

   -most inmates of any country    -11 percent for violent crimes
   -highest incarceration rates    -1/3 of prisoners are non-violent, 1st  offenders
   -growing 4 percent per year    -3/4 of prisoners are 1st offenders with no history of violence
   -55 percent incarcerated are there for drugs    -almost every 1 in 136 in U.S. incarcerated
     -incarcerated, parolees and those on probation total 7.1 million

Wolff Index

Wolff et al (Human Development Index note) also used persons per police officer, reports of police brutality per 100,000, death row inmates (zero in most countries; low thousands in US), percent households with handgun, murders per year by handgun (50 or less in most countries; about 10,000 in US), murder rate for males 15-24/100,000, rape/100,000, armed robbery/100,000.

There is too much variation among countries statistics for extensive comparisons

One study of robberies per 100,000 found 2003  
  France 210  
  Germany 75  
  Italy 125  
  UK (England-Wales) 190  
  US 145  

"Crime and Punishment in the U.S. & Europe" Julia Wobbe

From p. 3, CJLF Advisory 26:2, Spring 2008, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. Online copy of report can be found at:

"US prison population dwarfs that of other nations" Adam Litpak

International Herald Tribune, April 23, 2008

>Causes of high US rate: more violent crime, harsher sentences, racial discrimination, war on drugs, lack of social safety net, availability of guns.
> US murder rates are quite high, while assault, burglary, and robbery are comparable or lower than other countries.
> US has harsh sentences for minor property crimes like passing bad checks.
> US imprisonment for drugs is far higher than other countries.
> The US imprisons slightly fewer people than some European countries, but keeps them in prison far longer (16 months for burglary; Canada 5 months, England 7 months).
> Minorities in Canada, Britain, and Australia incarcerated at rates similar to or higher than US.
> Locking people up prevents crime and saves money, if the "right people" are locked up.

"What American's Can't Afford," Families Agains Mandatory Minimums, email newsletter

November 9, 2010

>More people incarcerated in the U.S. than any other country
>Costs more ($26,000 per year) to incarcerate someone than to send them to college
>$60 billion in taxes are spent on prisons every year
>50% of all federal prisoners and 20% of all state prisoners are drug offenders, often non-violent
>Former prisoners earn 40% less than men who have never been to prison
>One in 28 children's mother or father are in prison
>Treatment and drug courts should be implemented as prisons have grown overcrowded and expensive

Children's Defense Fund, email newsletter

June 9, 2008

"According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,006 children and teens were killed by firearms in 2005, the first increase since 1994 and the first rise in gun deaths since Congress allowed the Assault Weapons Ban to expire in 2004."

"Supreme Court's Global Influence is Waning" Adam Liptak

New York Times, September 17, 2008

According to Liptak, America's judicial rulings has seen a decline in its propensity to influence other courts around the world. Namely, Austrailia, who had cited decisions by American courts over 200 times in 1995, had reduced that number to 72 times ten years later. Litpak suggests that there is ample evidence to show that this is the case not just for Australia, but worldwide.

Needed:

Homicide rate for males aged 15 to 124 per 100,000 males

Survey of households on crime victimization

Percent of households with a handgun or any firearm

Death row inmates