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Band 9 Model Answer:
The bar chart illustrates how many people were imprisoned in five different countries over a period of 50 years.
Overall, it is clear that the prison population fluctuated in most of the countries shown. The only consistent trend was in Britain, where the number of prisoners increased steadily.
In 1930, the number of prisoners in Britain was only 30,000, which was significantly lower than in the other countries. However, the number grew steadily, reaching over 80,000 in 1980. In contrast, Canada had the highest prison population in 1930 with 120,000 inmates. Despite fluctuations, the figure declined over the period to 90,000 in 1980.
Prisoner numbers in the USA were generally high, although the figures fluctuated. They rose from 100,000 in 1930 to 130,000 ten years later, but by 1980 they reached a peak of almost 140,000. In 1930, the prison population in New Zealand also numbered 100,000, but the number then fell dramatically by half by 1950, before increasing to over 80,000 in 1980. Finally, while there were 70,000 prisoners in Australia in 1930, the number went down to about 40,000 in 1950. However, in 1970 the figure rose again to 65,000 before falling to just 50,000 in 1980.
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