You are here

Caseloads: Criminal Cases, 1870-2016

U.S. Circuit, District, and Territorial Courts, 1870-1911
U.S. District Courts, 1912-2016[1]
Year (ending)
Commenced
Terminated
Pending
1870 [2]
-
3,369
4,613
1871[3]
-
8,187
5,586
1872
-
8,092 a b
7,510
1873[4]
-
6,713 a
6,274
1874[5]
-
6,018 a
6,627
1875[6]
-
6,045 a
7,667
1876
-
7,095 a
7,441
1877[7]
-
8,103 a
6,538
1878[8]
-
10,873 b c
7,281
1879[9]
-
13,717 c
7,165
1880[10]
-
9,269 c
7,146
1881[11]
-
11,448 c
6,211
1882
-
7,494 b
3,891
1883
-
7,792
5,722
1884
-
12,542
5,437
1885[12]
-
11,977
3,808
1886
-
14,479
5,593
1887
-
12,905
7,346
1888
-
14,599
7,223
1889
-
14,588
7,212
1890
-
16,016
8,683
1891
-
18,327
10,325
1892
-
18,724
9,709
1893
-
21,935 b
9,410 b
1894
-
21,744
10,370
1895
-
25,949
12,499 b
1896
-
26,271
11,746
1897
-
18,134
10,958
1898
-
16,814
10,147
1899
-
17,341
10,228
1900
-
17,033
10,047
1901
-
16,837
9,944
1902
-
16,350
9,602
1903
-
16,034
11,039 d
1904
18,488
17,443
12,243 d
1905
18,900
18,163
13,040 d
1906
17,435
16,357
14,113 d
1907
18,332
16,006
8,852[13]
1908
13,345
12,942
9,112 d
1909
14,505
13,959
9,729 d
1910
14,864
15,371
9,322 d
1911
15,047 b
14,702
9,708 d
1912
15,953
16,158
9,689 d
1913
16,753
16,757
9,242 d
1914
18,399
18,128
9,958 d
1915
19,868
19,120
10,559 d
1916
20,243
20,432
10,668 d
1917
19,628
17,671
12,649 d
1918
35,096
30,949
16,787 d
1919
47,443
35,734
28,617 d
1920
55,587
34,230
49,924 d
1921
54,487
47,299
56,782 d
1922
60,722
53,155
64,609 d
1923
71,077
68,152
67,263 d
1924
70,168
73,488
63,300 d
1925
76,136
92,711
46,812 d
1926
68,582
76,536
38,051 d
1927
64,614
67,279
35,341 d
1928
83,372
88,336
30,480 d
1929
86,348
85,328
31,153 d
1930
87,305
82,609
35,849
1931
83,747
91,701
27,895
1932
92,174
96,949
23,120
1933
82,675
84,780
20,903 d
1934
34,152
45,577
9,478
Jul 1-Dec 31, 1934
15,972
13,862
11,588
Jan 1-Jun 30, 1935[14]
19,393
19,349
11,469
1936
35,920
36,396
11,007 d
1937
35,475
35,461
11,021
1938
34,202
34,324
10,899
1939
34,808
35,095
10,012
1940
33,401
33,861
9,553
1941
31,823
32,207
9,169
1942
33,294
31,114
11,385
1943
36,588
36,245
11,728
1944
39,621
40,406
10,943
1945
39,429
39,355
11,017
1946
33,203
35,215
9,005
1947
34,563
35,444
8,124
1948
33,300
33,573
7,851
1949
35,686
35,662
7,875
1950
37,720
37,414
8,181
1951
39,830
40,310
7,701
1952
39,022
37,929
8,794
1953
38,504
37,780
9,518
1954
43,196
42,614
10,100
1955
37,123
38,580
8,643
1956
30,653
32,053
7,243
1957
30,078
29,826
7,495
1958
30,737
30,781
7,451
1959
30,653
30,377
7,727
1960
29,828
29,864
7,691
1961
30,268
29,881
8,078
1962
31,017 d
30,013 d
9,082 d
1963
31,746 d
31,546 d
9,282 d
1964
31,733
31,437
9,578
1965
33,334
32,078
10,834
1966
31,494
30,644
11,684
1967
32,207
30,350
13,541
1968
32,571
31,349
14,763
1969
35,413
32,406
17,770
1970
39,959
36,819
20,910
1971
43,157
39,582
24,485
1972
49,054
48,101
25,438
1973
42,434
43,456
24,416
1974
39,754
41,526
22,644
1975
43,282
43,515
22,411
1976[15]
41,020
43,675
19,756
1977
41,464
44,111
17,150 d
1978
35,983
37,286
15,878 d
1979
32,688
31,874
15,135 d
1980
28,921
28,089
14,784 d
1981
31,287
30,221
15,866 d
1982
32,682
31,889
16,659
1983
35,872
33,985
18,587 d
1984
36,845
35,494
19,938
1985
39,500
37,139
22,299
1986
40,427
38,380
24,453 d
1987
42,156
41,087
25,263 d
1988
43,503
40,986
27,311 d
1989
44,891
41,707
30,413
1990
47,411 d
42,765 d
35,021 d
1991
45,735
42,788
37,968
1991[16]
47,123
43,073
39,562
1992[17]
48,366
44,147
34,078 d
1993
46,786
44,800
28,701 d
1994
45,473
45,129
26,328 d
1995
45,788
41,527
28,738 d
1996
47,889
45,499
32,156 d
1997
50,363
46,887
37,237 d
1998
57,691
51,428
40,277 d
1999
59,923
56,511
42,966 d
2000
62,745
58,102
47,677 d
2001
62,708
58,718
49,696 d
2002
66,128
60,991
55,518 d
2003
70,642
65,628
59,218 d
2004
71,022
64,621
65,900 d
2005
69,575
66,561
69,932 d
2006
66,860
67,499
71,916 d
2007
68,413
67,851
73,418 d
2008
70,896
70,629
75,340 d
2009
76,655
75,077
79,068 d
2010
78,428
78,069
81,079 d
2011
78,440
79,839
79,680
2012
71,303
74,308
76,493
2013
68,918
69,279
76,627
2014 62,722 64,985 73,838
2015 61,202 61,555 72,059
2016 59,064 59,365 71,618
Notations:
a: calculated from totals of customs prosecutions, internal revenue prosecutions, prosecutions under enforcement act, prosecutions under naturalization act, and miscellaneous prosecutions.
b: discrepancy between exhibit and text of the report.
c: calculated from totals reported for prosecutions under customs, internal revenue, Post-office, election laws, the civil rights acts, naturalization laws, intercourse laws, pension laws, embezzlement, and miscellaneous.
d: revised total presented in the subsequent year's report.
e: total is for individual defendants, not cases.
Notes:
[1] Data includes cases in the courts of the District of Columbia and district courts in U.S. territories and possessions.
[2] Statistical year is January 1-December 31. No data submitted from the following districts: Delaware, Northern Florida, Southern Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Northern Mississippi, Western Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Eastern Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Eastern Wisconsin, District of Columbia, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.
[3] No data submitted by the following districts: Southern Florida, Northern Florida, Nevada, Eastern Texas, Western District of Virginia, Arizona Territory, Colorado Territory, and New Mexico Territory.
[4] Statistical year shifts to July 1-June 30. No data submitted by the following districts: Minnesota, Nevada, Western Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington.
[5] No data submitted by the districts of Arizona and Nevada.
[6] No data submitted by the District of Washington.
[7] No data submitted by the territories of Dakota and Montana.
[8] No data submitted by the Northern District of Mississippi.
[9] No data submitted by the districts of Idaho and Wyoming.
[10] No data submitted by the District of Idaho.
[11] No reports submitted by the territories of Montana and New Mexico.
[12] No report submitted by Territory of New Mexico.
[13] This revised total represents a major change from the total reported the previous year. Total criminal cases reported as pending at the end of 1907 was 16,441.
[14] Department of Justice adopted new procedures for compiling statistics during the year and published its data for the first part of the statistical year, based on the old system, as separate tables.
[15] Data beginning in this year follows different criteria based on requirements of the Speedy Trial Act of 1974. Under the new system, the courts reported more minor offenses than had previously been reported. Courts also ceased reporting so-called superseding indictments or informations, in which government attorneys filed informations subsequent to the original indictment. These superceding informations had previously been counted as new filings. According to the AO report, the statistics for criminal cases "should be regarded as non-comparable" to the criminal statistics from prior years.
[16] Beginning in 1992, the statistical year was shifted to coincide with the fiscal year, which ended on September 30. The 1992 report included statistics for the 12-month period ending September 30, 1991, which are included here.
[17] Statistical year changed to ending September 30.
Sources:
1871: Annual Report of the Attorney General (1872), Exhibit B.
1872: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit D.
1873-1902: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit B.
1903-1904: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 12.
1905-1908: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 7.
1909: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 9.
1910-1912: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Appendix 1.
1913: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Appendix 2.
1914-1934: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 2.
1935-1939: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 2, Table 2A.
1940: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table 11.
1941-1944: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table 10.
1945-1985: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table D-1.
1986-2016: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table D.