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The Gender Divide:

Tracking women's state prison growth

a Prison Policy Initiative Report
by Wendy Sawyer
January 9, 2018

 

Table 1:
Women's prison and jail population estimates and incarceration rates, 1922-2015

Women's Population Estimates Women's Incarceration Rates
State Prisons Federal Prisons Jails State Prison Rate Federal Prison Rate Jail Rate
1922 3,210 0 1,982 5.9 0 3.6
1925 3,384 0 n/a 5.9 0.0 n/a
1926 3,715 0 n/a 6.4 0.0 n/a
1927 4,261 102 n/a 7.2 0.2 n/a
1928 4,337 217 n/a 7.3 0.4 n/a
1929 4,136 484 n/a 6.8 0.8 n/a
1930 4,207 461 n/a 6.9 0.8 n/a
1931 3,963 481 n/a 6.4 0.8 n/a
1932 3,883 427 n/a 6.3 0.7 n/a
1933 3,941 359 2,571.8 6.3 0.6 4.1
1934 4,281 356 n/a 6.8 0.6 n/a
1935 4,340 498 n/a 6.8 0.8 n/a
1936 4,445 513 n/a 7.0 0.8 n/a
1937 n/a 515 n/a n/a 0.8 n/a
1938 4,857 578 n/a 7.5 0.9 n/a
1939 n/a 558 n/a n/a 0.9 n/a
1940 n/a n/a 8,932.41 n/a n/a 13.5
1941 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
1942 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
1943 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
1944 5,645 637 n/a 8.1 0.9 n/a
1945 5,700 526 n/a 8.1 0.7 n/a
1946 5,757 472 n/a 8.1 0.7 n/a
1947 6,089 498 n/a 8.4 0.7 n/a
1948 6,031 442 n/a 8.1 0.6 n/a
1949 5,858 458 n/a 7.7 0.6 n/a
1950 5,346 462 6,054.44 6.9 0.6 7.9
1951 5,572 498 n/a 7.1 0.6 n/a
1952 5,682 557 n/a 7.1 0.7 n/a
1953 6,050 620 n/a 7.4 0.8 n/a
1954 6,296 680 n/a 7.6 0.8 n/a
1955 6,404 721 n/a 7.6 0.9 n/a
1956 6,616 759 n/a 7.7 0.9 n/a
1957 6,559 742 n/a 7.5 0.8 n/a
1958 6,660 775 n/a 7.5 0.9 n/a
1959 6,742 882 n/a 7.4 1.0 n/a
1960 6,818 875 8,376.97 7.4 0.9 9.1
1961 6,988 890 n/a 7.5 0.9 n/a
1962 7,071 931 n/a 7.4 1.0 n/a
1963 6,832 913 n/a 7.1 0.9 n/a
1964 6,898 827 n/a 7.0 0.8 n/a
1965 6,925 779 n/a 7.0 0.8 n/a
1966 6,304 647 n/a 6.3 0.6 n/a
1967 5,598 637 n/a 5.5 0.6 n/a
1968 5,137 675 n/a 5.0 0.7 n/a
1969 5,885 709 n/a 5.7 0.7 n/a
1970 4,918 717 8,043.65 4.7 0.7 7.6
1971 5,561 768 n/a 5.2 0.7 n/a
1972 5,475 794 n/a 5.1 0.7 n/a
1973 5,752 932 n/a 5.3 0.9 n/a
1974 6,395 994 n/a 5.8 0.9 n/a
1975 7,570 1,105 n/a 6.8 1.0 n/a
1976 8,580 1,459 n/a 7.6 1.3 n/a
1977 9,518 1,694 n/a 8.4 1.5 n/a
1978 9,998 1,585 9,504 8.7 1.4 8.3
1979 10,679 1,326 n/a 9.2 1.1 n/a
1980 11,158 1,173 13119.52 9.5 1.0 11.2
1981 13,025 1,273 n/a 11.0 1.1 n/a
1982 15,080 1,361 13,852 12.6 1.1 11.6
1983 15,951 1,525 15,652 13.2 1.3 13.0
1984 17,561 1,644 16,743 14.4 1.4 13.8
1985 19,229 2,116 19,077 15.7 1.7 15.6
1986 22,086 2,458 21,501 17.8 2.0 17.4
1987 24,189 2,633 23,920 19.4 2.1 19.2
1988 27,324 2,821 30,299 21.7 2.2 24.2
1989 33,899 3,365 37,253 26.6 2.6 29.4
1990 36,706 3,858 37,198 28.5 3.0 29.1
1991 39,425 4,377 39,501 30.2 3.4 30.5
1992 41,326 5,175 40,674 31.3 3.9 31.0
1993 48,485 5,552 44,100 36.2 4.2 33.2
1994 54,259 5,866 48,500 40.1 4.3 36.1
1995 58,149 5,814 51,300 42.5 4.2 37.7
1996 63,492 6,107 55,700 45.9 4.4 40.5
1997 67,251 6,539 59,296 48.0 4.7 42.6
1998 71,905 7,326 63,791 50.8 5.2 45.3
1999 74,313 8,056 67,487 52.0 5.6 47.4
2000 76,647 8,397 71,000 53.1 5.8 49.4
2001 76,194 8,990 72,621 52.3 6.2 50.1
2002 79,758 9,308 76,817 54.2 6.3 52.5
2003 82,801 9,770 81,650 55.8 6.6 55.3
2004 85,791 10,207 86,999 57.3 6.8 58.4
2005 88,193 10,495 94,600 58.4 6.9 62.9
2006 92,221 11,116 99,000 60.5 7.3 65.2
2007 94,235 11,528 100,520 61.2 7.5 65.6
2008 94,780 11,578 99,670 61.0 7.5 64.5
2009 93,555 11,780 93,706 59.7 7.5 60.1
2010 93,054 11,849 92,400 58.9 7.5 58.8
2011 91,557 12,149 93,300 57.6 7.6 58.9
2012 89,038 12,316 98,600 55.6 7.7 61.8
2013 91,581 12,720 102,400 56.8 7.9 63.8
2014 93,536 12,560 109,100 57.6 7.7 67.4
2015 93,360 11,608 99,100 57.1 7.1 60.8

Sources and methodology

Women's Population Estimates
Prison estimates are for yearend populations; jail estimates are midyear starting in 1982 (time of year unknown before then). See methodology for details.
Women's Incarceration Rates
Number of women incarcerated per 100,000 female U.S. residents

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