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Prisoners in 2021 - Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2022
51 pages

This report is the 96th in a series that began in 1926. It provides counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state, federal, and military correctional authorities in 2021 and includes findings on admissions, releases, and imprisonment rates. The report describes demographic and offense characteristics of state and federal prisoners. It also provides data on prisoners held under military jurisdiction.


  • The U.S. prison population was 1,204,300 at yearend 2021, a 1% decrease from 2020 (1,221,200) and a 25% decrease from 2011 (1,599,000).
  • Prison populations declined in 32 states from yearend 2020 to yearend 2021, after decreasing in 49 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) during the prior 12 months largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (See Prisoners in 2020 – Statistical Tables, NCJ 302776, BJS, December 2021.)
  • The BOP population increased by 5,200 persons (up 3%) from yearend 2020 to yearend 2021, while California's prison population increased by 1,000 (up 1%).
  • At yearend 2021, the imprisonment rate was 350 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents, down 2% from yearend 2020 and 29% from yearend 2011.

Date Published: December 1, 2022