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Prisoners

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of the prison population was born in (a) Britain, (b) EU-15 countries, (c) EU A8 countries, (d) other EEA countries, (e) Africa, (f) North America, (g) Central America, (h) South America, (i) the Middle East, (j) Asia and (k) Oceania in each year since 1997. (200419)

Data on prisoners’ country of birth are not available.

The following table gives figures and proportions for the numbers of prisoners by nationality held in all prisons in England and Wales from (a) Britain (b) EU 15 countries (c) EU A8 countries (d) other EEA countries (e) Africa (f) North America (g) and (h) Central and South America (i) Middle East (j) Asia and (k) Oceania with other categories in each year since 1997.

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Total prison population

61,467

65,727

64,529

65,194

66,403

71,218

73,657

74,488

76,190

77,982

79,734

(a) UK National

56,611

60,393

59,074

59,043

58,732

62,553

63,614

64,379

66,670

66,160

67,760

(b) EU 15 Countries (not UK)

1,274

1,425

1,515

1,490

1,535

1,462

1,552

1,659

1,619

1,683

1,526

(c) EU AS countries (post 2004)

170

334

574

688

(d) Other EEA countries (Excludes Romania and Bulgaria until 2007 and Cyprus and Malta until 2004)

0

3

3

0

2

4

2

75

63

73

253

(e) Africa

920

921

919

878

1,158

1,297

1,629

1,877

2,430

2,960

3,202

(f) North America

111

135

133

124

119

98

120

124

103

126

124

(g) and (h) Central America and South America

158

170

199

201

210

210

273

284

302

373

371

(i) Middle East

118

124

135

164

201

210

406

424

563

672

670

(j)Asia

868

914

906

776

1,001

856

1,069

1,100

1,311

1,665

1,892

(k) Oceania

46

49

42

63

38

42

43

41

48

43

46

(l) West Indies

811

884

1,008

1,222

1,856

2,758

3,020

2,463

2,040

1,840

1,639

(m) Unrecorded

179

201

68

543

755

946

1,132

1,168

869

944

877

(n) Other Europe (includes EU A8 Countries until 2004 and Romania and Bulgaria until 2007 and Cyprus and Malta until 2004)

369

505

525

671

793

775

879

718

824

861

681

As percentage of all prisoners

(a) UK National

92

92

92

91

88

88

86

86

86

85

85

(b) EU 15 Countries (not UK)

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

(c) EU A8 countries (post 2004)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

(d) Other EEA countries (Excludes Romania and Bulgaria until 2007 and Cyprus and Malta until 2004)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

(e) Africa

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

3

4

4

(f) North America

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

(g) and (h) Central America and South America

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

(i) Middle East

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

(j)Asia

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

2

2

2

(k) Oceania

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

(l) West Indies

1

1

2

2

3

4

4

3

3

2

2

(m) Unrecorded

0

0

0

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

(n) Other Europe (includes EU A8 Countries until 2004 and Romania and Bulgaria until 2007 and Cyprus and Malta until 2004)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

For the purposes of this table, and allowing for changes in EU membership over time, countries have been categorised in the following way.

EU 15 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Sweden.

EU A8 countries are: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.

Other EEA countries: (i) In EU: Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, and (ii) not in EU: Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.

Cyprus and Malta acceded to the EU (and consequently the EEA) in 2004; Romania and Bulgaria in 2007. The table reflects these timings.

Other Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Russia (or Russian Federation), San Marino, Serbia, (with Montenegro after 2002), Switzerland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yugoslavia.

Figures for the West Indies and “Other Europe” are included in the answer for completeness.

All the figures in the aforementioned table can be found in Population in Custody 2007, Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2003-06 and Prison Statistics England and Wales 1997-2002, at the following website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/statistics.htm

Copies of these publications can be found in the House of Commons Library.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.