These are the countries where you're most likely to end up in prison

Spoiler: The US isn't number one

Click to follow

President Obama has got us talking about prisons this week, with a promise to finally shut down Guantanamo Bay. The President also made a visit to a federal prison last week, making him the first sitting president to visit an American prison, ever.

But do you really know where you’re most likely to be locked up?

The International Centre for Prison Studies calculates an incarceration rate by looking at the number of prisoners per 100,000 population, and updates its figures on a monthly basis. England and Wales are considered together, coming in jointly at number 99, with 149 prisoners per 100,000 population. Scotland is joint at 105, with a rate equal to Namibia.

Monaco has the highest rate of female prisoners of total prison population, at 24.1%, whilst the United Arab Emirates has the greatest percentage of foreign nationals locked away, with a staggering 92.2% of their prison population made up by foreign nationals.

But here are the top ten places you're likely to be locked up in.

1. Seychelles

At the top (or is it the bottom) is the Seychelles, with a rate of 869 in 100,000 people in incarceration. The archipelago in the Indian Ocean has a population of under 100,000, yet manages to have the highest proportion of people in prison of any country around the world. They also have a whole prison dedicated to pirates.


2. United States of America

Most people think it’s the U.S. that has the highest prison population, and in sheer numbers they are right. The United States has a prison population of over 2.2 million; which is greater than the entire population of countries like Slovenia, Latvia and Bahrain.

3. St. Kitts and Nevis

With only 330 prisoners, this two –island country in the West Indies doesn’t have many incarcerations, but with a population of under 55,000 it’s still the third highest proportion around the globe.


4. Virgin Islands (USA)

With a homicide rate amongst the world’s highest, the U.S. Virgin Islands has a prison population rate of 542. It’s not all beautiful beaches, although they are very nice too.

5. Turkmenistan

Sharing borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran, Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan comes in at number five, with a prison population of 26,500.

6. Cuba

With a prison population rate of 522 in every 100,000 people, Cuba is high up on the list. It’s difficult to gauge what people are incarcerated for, as the Government don’t release official crime statistics.


7. Rwanda

With an occupancy level of 101.7% according to official statistics, Rwanda has more people in prison that it can actually fit in prison.

8. El Salvador

And there you were thinking Rwandan prisons were full. According to statistics, this central American country is at 325% capacity in its jails. It’s the most densely populated country in Central America, and its prisons are no different it seems.

9. Russian Federation

The Russian Federation, or Russia, has 667,546 prisoners, of which 8.1% are women. In 2000, Russia had well over 1 million people locked up, so these stats mark a steep decline. Still, it has the third highest number of prisoners in total of any country, below the U.S. and China only.


10. Thailand

With 316,700 prisoners Thailand’s jailed population has increased by over 80,000 since 2012. Famous residents of Thai prisons include Bridget Jones (from Diary) and British-Australian drug smuggler David McMillan, the only Westerner on record as having successfully escaped Bangkok's Klong Prem prison.