Extreme World: Crime

Map showing the highest prison rates around the world

Part four of Extreme World examines crime.

Almost ten million people are held in prisons around the world - almost half are jailed in the United States, China and Russia combined.

The World Prison Population list 2009 showed the US imprisons 756 people out of every 100,000 - while the world rate is 145 per 100,000.

PDF download World Prison Population List[73.8KB]

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Extreme World is a new season of coverage on TV, Radio and Online, examining global differences. Over the next few months, BBC News correspondents will be exploring eight key themes that illustrate the divisions in our extreme world.

At the other extreme, Liechtenstein had a prison population of just seven in 2008 - although some prisoners are held in Austrian jails - the prison rate is just 20 per 100,000.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime produces statistics showing homicide rates for 198 countries round the world, based on information provided by criminal justice systems.

Central and Southern American states have some of the highest rates for murder and manslaughter in the world.

In Honduras, there are reported to be 60.9 murders per 100,000 population and only slightly fewer, 59.5, in Jamaica - while Iceland and Monaco had an official rate of 0 in 2008. England and Wales registered 1.2 and the US 5.2.

A Quality of Living survey carried out by consultancy firm Mercer found Luxembourg ranked the highest in the world for personal safety, while Baghdad was regarded as the least-safe city to live in the world.

The survey, which looked at 215 cities, looked at factors like crime levels and internal stability.

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