Statistics Reveal There Are More Jails Than Colleges In The U.S. (Map)

| by Sean Kelly

According to the 2010 census, there are more jails than colleges in the United States.

It’s been known for years, according to the Washington Post, that the national incarceration rate in America – 707 adults per every 100,000 – is likely the highest in the world. Those inmates are locked up in 1,800 federal and state prisons throughout the country, as well as 3,200 local and county jails. Altogether, there are over 5,000 jails and prisons in the U.S., slightly more than the number of colleges and universities.

The census also showed that there are less people living on college campuses than in prisons. In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, there are 41 jails and prisons and only seven colleges, while prisons in Lexington County, South Carolina, outnumber colleges 15 to 1, according to the Post.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have attempted to reform the criminal justice system in recent years, due in part to the increasing number of inmates throughout the country.  

Sources: Washington Post, Valley News / Photo Credit:,