Canada has far fewer police officers per person than the United States, England and other countries, Statistics Canada says.

There are roughly 188 officers for every 100,000 Canadians, according to Police Personnel and Expenditures 2004, a report released by the federal agency on Thursday.

That's about 20 per cent less than in the United States and Australia and 25 per cent less than in England and Wales, the study says.

Canada had slightly fewer than 60,000 police officers as of June 15, 2004, the report found.

Saskatchewan had the highest ratio, with 202 officers for every 100,000 people. Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island had the fewest police per capita.

Among the cities, Regina and Thunder Bay, Ont., had the most officers per person, while Ottawa, Abbotsford, B.C., and London, Ont., had the fewest.

The report also found that women are slowly crossing the thin blue line. In 2004, one in six police officers were female. That's slightly more than in 2003 and adds up to nearly 10,000 nationwide.

Canadians paid $8.3 billion for policing services in 2003, an average of $263 per person.