Map: Imperial Europe's Penal Colonies

Where did the French, British, Spanish and Portuguese empires send their convicts?

Dean Nicholas | Published in 21 Mar 2016

Where did Europe's imperial powers send their convicts? Many people are familiar with the British sending people to Australia and parts of Asia, and the French penal colony in Guyana has some notoriety. Yet, as our graphic above, which illustrates the number of convicts sent between 1415 and 1953, the geographical and numerical extent of the colonies is greater than one might expect. 

Read more about the subject in Clare Anderson's article on the origins of Europe's penal colonies, which was published in our April 2016 issue. 

Map designed by Dean Nicholas; data supplied by Clare Anderson.