The combined state and federal imprisonment rate for 2019 (419 per 100,000 U.S. residents), based on sentenced prisoners (those sentenced to more than one year), decreased 3% from 2018 (432 per 100,000 U.S. residents), according to a report prepared by the DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics.
This was the lowest imprisonment rate in 24 years, dating back to 1995. Since 2009, the imprisonment rate—the portion of U.S. residents who are in prison—has dropped 17% overall, including 29% among black residents, 24% among Hispanic residents, and 12% among white residents. At year-end 2019, there were 1,096 black prisoners per 100,000 black residents, 525 Hispanic prisoners per 100,000 Hispanic residents, and 214 white prisoners per 100,000 white residents in the United States.
The total prison population in the U.S. declined from 1,464,400 at year-end 2018 to 1,430,800 at year-end 2019, a decrease of 33,600 prisoners. This was the largest absolute population decline since year-end 2015. The 2% decline in the prison population marked the fifth consecutive annual decrease of at least 1%. At year-end 2019, the prison population was the smallest since 2002 (1,440,100) and had declined 11% from its all-time peak of 1,615,500 prisoners in 2009.
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