How many people were sentenced to prison in 2011 in the United States? This statistic is hard to come by online. The only measured incarceration rate I've come across is the amount of people incarcerated per 100,000 people.

  • 1
    Are you looking for an exact number of prisoners in 2011? What is the historical relevance of this?
    – MichaelF
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 12:26
  • 2
    Well, 2011 is history. Very recent history, but history none the less. Commented May 15, 2012 at 17:22
  • @MichaelF - It looks to me like he's asking for the number of new prisoners in 2011. The rest of your comment applies equally though, I think.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 14:14
  • @MichaelF It's for a simulation I'm writing in an attempt to project the U.S. incarceration over the next how ever many years. Its historical relevance is that the data can help us visualize an upward trend in the rate over time. Commented May 24, 2012 at 17:14
  • 1
    @AdamSoffer I can understand that, but the way its written seems more like a request for statistical data which until you give the explanation doesn't have a historical context.
    – MichaelF
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


The DoJ published this paper in December 2011 and released prison statistics for 2010. According to the article the number of people in prison at year-end'10 was 7.1 million of which 2,226,800 people were sentenced in 2010 itself [table 1, in that paper].

This wikipedia article also has a lot of detail on this subject. I think you can extrapolate the figures in the DoJ article with the 2011 rates mentioned in the wikipedia article and compute the number of people in Jail in 2011.


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