Prison Population by State

Even though its prison population is the lowest it has been in the previous twenty years, the United States remains the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world. The United States currently houses about 2.19 million prisoners, approximately 25% of the world’s total number of people in prison. 

The United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world since 2002, at about 100 prisoners for every 100,000 in the population, or 2.2 million adults as of 2018. Most of these inmates are housed in state and local prisons, not federal prisons. At the same time, over 600,000 people are held by local jails while awaiting a conviction.

Mass incarceration is a recurring issue in the country and is due to a wide variety of factors, including policymaking. Mass incarceration leads to overcrowded prisons, sanitation issues, dehumanization, marginalization, and important state costs –  the U.S. spends over $80 billion each year on incarceration. 

See for yourself how prison populations differ by state by analyzing the data in the charts.

Prison Population by State

Alabama

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

25,328

#14 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

28.7%

#9 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

11,178

#14 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

717

#14 in the US

Alaska

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

4,578

#41 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

61.6%

#42 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,626

#39 in the US

Arizona

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

37,731

#7 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

36.3%

#19 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

13,938

#11 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

19

#37 in the US

Arkansas

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

16,094

#24 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

47.5%

#36 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

976

#45 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

567

#17 in the US

California

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

97,328

#2 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

39,673

#2 in the US

Colorado

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

16,168

#22 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

44.9%

#33 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

9,568

#18 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

1,200

#7 in the US

Connecticut

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

9,559

#30 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

49%

#38 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

4,387

#28 in the US

Delaware

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

4,710

#40 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

60.2%

#41 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,738

#37 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

1

#41 in the US

Florida

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

81,027

#3 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

25.4%

#5 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

2,872

#33 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

331

#25 in the US

Georgia

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

47,141

#4 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,646

#38 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

271

#26 in the US

Hawaii

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

4,171

#42 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,126

#43 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

2

#40 in the US

Idaho

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

8,171

#33 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

36.3%

#20 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

4,001

#30 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

392

#20 in the US

Illinois

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

29,729

#11 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

38.5%

#23 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

20,589

#3 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

1,247

#6 in the US

Indiana

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

23,944

#15 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

38.2%

#24 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

9,893

#16 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

363

#22 in the US

Iowa

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

8,307

#32 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

38.7%

#25 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

4,767

#26 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

715

#15 in the US

Kansas

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

8,779

#31 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

34.7%

#18 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

4,693

#27 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

184

#27 in the US

Kentucky

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

18,552

#20 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

46.4%

#35 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

16,531

#6 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

343

#24 in the US

Louisiana

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

26,964

#13 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

29.6%

#10 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

14,019

#10 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

1,809

#4 in the US

Maine

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

1,714

#48 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

26.3%

#7 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

974

#46 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

0

#43 in the US

Maryland

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

15,623

#26 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

40.5%

#28 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

5,933

#21 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

413

#19 in the US

Massachusetts

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

6,762

#35 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

33%

#16 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

2,212

#36 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

64

#32 in the US

Michigan

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

33,617

#9 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

26.6%

#8 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

10,478

#15 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

985

#9 in the US

Minnesota

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

8,148

#34 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

25%

#6 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

5,876

#22 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

381

#21 in the US

Mississippi

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

17,577

#21 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

36.8%

#21 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

6,655

#19 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

709

#16 in the US

Missouri

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

23,062

#16 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

37.2%

#22 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

14,643

#9 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

970

#10 in the US

Montana

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

3,927

#43 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

38.6%

#26 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

2,517

#34 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

29

#35 in the US

Nebraska

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

5,306

#39 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

30.2%

#12 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

2,453

#35 in the US

Nevada

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

11,422

#29 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

24.6%

#4 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

5,753

#23 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

356

#23 in the US

New Hampshire

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

2,352

#45 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

41.5%

#29 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,246

#41 in the US

New Jersey

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

12,830

#27 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

30.4%

#13 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

9,711

#17 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

105

#31 in the US

New Mexico

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

5,500

#37 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

49.1%

#39 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

309

#48 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

41

#33 in the US

New York

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

34,128

#8 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

43%

#31 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

16,249

#7 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

1,327

#5 in the US

North Carolina

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

29,461

#12 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,596

#40 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

1,161

#8 in the US

North Dakota

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

1,401

#49 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

41.2%

#30 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

122

#49 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

142

#29 in the US

Ohio

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

45,036

#5 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

32.7%

#15 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

20,052

#4 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

2,242

#3 in the US

Oklahoma

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

22,462

#18 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

22.6%

#2 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

81

#50 in the US

Oregon

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

12,753

#28 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

5,139

#25 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

942

#11 in the US

Pennsylvania

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

39,357

#6 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

47.1%

#37 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

15,591

#8 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

5,395

#1 in the US

Rhode Island

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

2,227

#46 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

50%

#40 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

660

#47 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

15

#38 in the US

South Carolina

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

16,157

#23 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

21%

#1 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

5,659

#24 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

24

#36 in the US

South Dakota

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

3,250

#44 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

44%

#34 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

3,873

#31 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

178

#28 in the US

Tennessee

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

22,685

#17 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

13,484

#12 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

719

#13 in the US

Texas

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

135,906

#1 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

66,726

#1 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

5,149

#2 in the US

Utah

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

5,446

#38 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

4,156

#29 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

500

#18 in the US

Vermont

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

1,284

#50 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

43.8%

#32 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,182

#42 in the US

Virginia

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

31,838

#10 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

23.3%

#3 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

12,904

#13 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

124

#30 in the US

Washington

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

15,724

#25 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

30.7%

#14 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

17,014

#5 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

853

#12 in the US

West Virginia

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

6,044

#36 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

29.3%

#11 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

3,429

#32 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

13

#39 in the US

Wisconsin

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

20,298

#19 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

38.1%

#27 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

6,023

#20 in the US

Wyoming

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PRISON POPULATIONhelp

2,087

#47 in the US

RECIDIVISM RATEhelp

33.8%

#17 in the US

PRISON RELEASEShelp

1,094

#44 in the US

RETURNED TO INCARCERATION WITH NEW SENTENCEhelp

30

#34 in the US