NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- You might be surprised to hear that the state of Virginia spends more than $21,000 a year for each prison inmate.

That's according to, which ranked states by how much they spend. Our state came in at the 34th highest in the nation. That's still below the national average of $33,849.

New York spends the most, at more than $69,000 per inmate, while Alabama spends the least, at more than $14,000.

The website reports Virginia has approximately 38,688 people incarcerated in the state.