Recent INTERPOL statistics detailing the number of policemen per national capita has revealed that Greece is among the most policed countries in the EU, falling just behind Cyprus and Spain.
The map’s creator, Ramiro Gómez, used data from Wikipedia’s list of police officers per country to piece together the census. The Wiki citations generally redirect to credible sources: INTERPOL, the UN, or official government surveys. However, each of these agencies relies on a different methodology for counting, so final results will remain subject to debate.
Intriguingly, among EU member states, Cyprus has the heaviest police presence: 678 policemen per every 100,000 citizens. Spain follows with 511 policemen per every 100,000 citizens; Greece trails in third with 452 policemen per every 100,00 citizens. Outside the EU, Serbia is the most policed country in Europe, with 631 policemen per every 100,000 citizens. Russia trails shortly behind with 546 police officers per every 100,000 citizens.
Globally, there are a few striking features about Gómez’s study. First, China has a remarkably low percentage of police officers per capita. The map, based on 2007 statistics taken from the Chinese news agency Xinhua, shows a total of 1.6 million police officers in China. Given China’s 2007 population, that’s roughly 121 officers per every 100,000 people – incredibly low by global standards.
This perhaps says more about China’s enormous population, of course – India also has relatively few officers. But it’s noteworthy that the Chinese state remains such an effective force of repression with so few police officers per capita.