Many people are surprised to discover that despite an approximately 50:50 female-to-male in the total population, less than 5% of the total prison population is female.
In fact, this is a pattern repeated globally: the female prison population is always a small fraction of the total prison population, with this less than 5% figure consistent across settled western democracies such as western countries of the European Union and the U.S. and countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
This difference between female and male criminal offending is even more stark when it comes to prisoners serving sentences for one or more sexual offences. In fact, at no point in the two decades since 2001 has the percentage of male sexual offenders dropped below 99%. This stark sex differential in sexual offender is the same in the U.S. and other comparable countries, notably Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the Nordic five (made up of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland).