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Mapped: U.S. States by Cost Per Prisoner

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

In this map, we illustrate the cost per prisoner across all U.S. states.

Mapped: U.S. States by Cost Per Prisoner

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The U.S. has a prison population of over 1.2 million inmates.

In this map, we show the cost per prisoner across U.S. states, using data from USAFacts.

USAFacts sourced spending data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances (last updated in June 2023), and prison population data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (last updated November 2023).

Differences in Prison Spending Vary Widely Across States

More than $80 billion is spent annually on prisons in the United States.

A large part of this is used to pay over 4,000 vendors that serve the criminal legal system, including healthcare providers and food suppliers.

At the state level, most of the budget goes for day-to-day operations, including officer salaries.

In high-wage states such as California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, officers receive double the salaries compared to those in lower-wage states like Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky.

As a result, spending can vary from just under $23,000 per prisoner in Arkansas to $307,468 in Massachusetts.

StateExpenditure per prisoner (USD)
Massachusetts307K
Vermont134K
New Jersey133K
California128K
Maine117K
Rhode Island117K
New York116K
Maryland114K
New Mexico113K
Washington108K
Connecticut103K
Alaska93K
Delaware91K
Nebraska88K
North Dakota84K
West Virginia82K
Minnesota80K
Oregon79K
Colorado76K
Wyoming75K
New Hampshire74K
Utah73K
Illinois68K
Pennsylvania67K
Michigan65K
Wisconsin64K
Montana64K
North Carolina63K
Hawaii62K
Virginia61K
Kansas49K
South Dakota49K
Ohio44K
Idaho42K
Iowa42K
Florida42K
Arizona41K
Nevada40K
Tennessee39K
South Carolina38K
Kentucky36K
Indiana33K
Alabama33K
Missouri32K
Oklahoma32K
Texas31K
Georgia30K
Louisiana25K
Mississippi24K
Arkansas23K

States With the Highest Incarceration Rates

Southern U.S. states have the highest imprisonment rates according to 2022 data, with Mississippi at 859 people per 100,000, Louisiana at 775, and Arkansas at 743.

Massachusetts has the lowest rate of any state, with 116 people per 100,000.

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Maps

Mapped: 15 Countries with the Highest Smoking Rates

Since the 1950s, many countries have tried to discourage tobacco use and bring down smoking rates. Here’s where they haven’t worked.

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A cropped map with the 15 countries with the highest smoking rates in the world.

Mapped: 15 Countries with the Highest Smoking Rates

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

It was not until 1950 when the link between smoking and lung cancer was proven, though physicians as far back as the late 19th century had identified it as a potential cause.

Since then, many countries have discouraged tobacco products in an attempt to reduce smoking rates, and consequent health effects.

We visualize the countries with the highest rates of tobacco use among their population aged 15 and older. Data is sourced from the World Health Organization, and is current up to 2022.

Which Countries Smoke the Most?

In Nauru, nearly half of the population aged 15+ uses a tobacco product, the highest in the world. The island also has a high obesity rate, and nearly one-third of the population suffers from diabetes, due to poor nutritional variety in the food supply.

Here’s a list of smoking rates by country, ranked from highest to lowest.

RankCountryTobacco use in
those aged 15+
1🇳🇷 Nauru48%
2🇲🇲 Myanmar44%
3🇰🇮 Kiribati40%
4🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea40%
5🇧🇬 Bulgaria40%
6🇷🇸 Serbia40%
7🇹🇱 Timor-Leste39%
8🇮🇩 Indonesia38%
9🇭🇷 Croatia37%
10🇸🇧 Solomon Islands37%
11🇦🇩 Andorra36%
12🇧🇦 Bosnia &
Herzegovina
36%
13🇨🇾 Cyprus36%
14🇯🇴 Jordan36%
15🇫🇷 France35%
N/A🌍 World23%

Note: Figures rounded. “Tobacco use” includes smoke and smokeless products.

Meanwhile, countries in the Balkan also see a high incidence of tobacco use, bucking the general European trend. Entrenched cultural norms, lax laws, and inexpensive cigarettes are some of the most commonly identified causes.

On the other hand, tobacco use is a lot lower in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa.

In the U.S., fewer than one in four adults smoke. Canada is even lower at 12% of the population. But some African countries (Nigeria and Ghana) are all the way down in the single-digits, at 3%.

Interestingly, men smoke more than women in nearly every country in the world.

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