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Caseloads: Civil Cases, Private, 1873-2016

U.S. Circuit, District, and Territorial Courts, 1873-1911
U.S. District Courts, 1912-2016
[1]
Year (ending)
Commenced
Terminated
Pending
1873[2]
15,141 a
7,276
-
1874[3]
19,194
11,490
-
1875[4]
15,316
9,517 b
-
1876
11,366
7,680 b
14,397
1877[5]
10,258
7,382 b
20,570
1878[6]
11,501
9,862 b
22,005
1879[7]
12,801
8,490 ab
19,771
1880
11,397
8,603 b
26,789
1881[8]
9,727
7,603 b
24,371
1882[9]
10,530
7,439 b
23,271
1883
12,124
8,327
27,791
1884
11,700
8,738
30,372
1885[10]
11,967
8,952
29,308
1886
12,326
10,109
31,455
1887
10,769
9,339
29,479
1888
9,329
8,229
34,922
1889
9,173
8,080
38,872
1890
12,247
8,500
42,584
1891
12,459
9,534
39,206
1892
13,236
11,307
44,809
1893
12,438 a
10,398 a
45,135
1894
13,567
11,988
46,816
1895
11,958
9,982
46,797
1896
10,465
9,621
45,956
1897
10,255
9,712
46,453
1898
10,274
11,005
45,715 a
1899
10,035
9,169
46,153
1900
10,628
10,459
46,347
1901
11,400
11,391
39,693
1902
11,514
11,094
40,158
1903
11,952
10,526
41,317 c
1904
13,085
10,986
42,799 c
1905
13,992
12,085
46,332 c
1906
14,299
13,731
46,451 c
1907
15,801
11,809 b
43,878 c
1908
11,703
9,128
41,658 c
1909
9,985
8,811
43,387 c
1910
10,618
9,445
43,831 c
1911
10,191
9,543
54,911 c
1912
10,992
11,633
54,210 c
1913
11,183
13,781
51,322 c
1914
12,146
13,344
51,537 c
1915
11,690
11,786
59,546 c
1916
13,852
19,159
54,211 c
1917
14,017
16,419
51,099 c
1918
13,879
26,370
37,889 c
1919
13,825
22,057
29,706 c
1920
16,383
13,357
32,654 c
1921
22,453
16,886
35,991 c
1922
22,099
17,996
39,733 c
1923
19,717
18,879
40,193 c
1924
20,458
20,332
40,355 c
1925
21,716
23,536
38,638 c
1926
21,217
21,487
38,173 c
1927
22,968
22,554
38,242 c
1928
23,750
22,641
39,223 c
1929
20,980
22,657
37,503 c
1930
23,391
23,743
37,151
1931
24,000
24,375
36,776
1932
26,326
26,045
37,057
1933
26,656
26,074
37,614 c
1934
26,472
28,035
36,051
Jul 1 - Dec 31, 1934[11]
12,376
12,172
27,782 c
Jan 1 - Jun 30, 1935
10,432
10,583
31,949 c
1936
26,334
20,989
31,455 c
1937
22,697
26,013
28,139
1938
22,065
25,484
24,790 c
1939
21,598
23,848
22,540
1940
21,090
23,364
20,240
1941
21,931
23,364
18,807
1942
21,067
22,488
17,386
1943
17,717
20,124
14,979
1944
17,604
17,446
15,137
1945
17,855
16,753
16,239
1946
22,141
18,438
19,942
1947
29,122
23,091
25,973
1948
30,344
26,418
29,899
1949
31,386
28,159
33,126
1950
32,193
30,494
34,825
1951
32,176
31,419
35,582
1952
35,548
32,610
38,520
1953
40,120
35,384
43,256
1954
39,512
37,009
45,759
1955
39,225
37,363
47,621
1956
41,001
42,756
45,866
1957
42,466
42,459
45,873
1958
45,657
40,568
50,962
1959
37,445
40,811
47,596
1960
38,444
40,835
45,205
1961
38,450
36,048
47,607
1962
41,538
38,203
50,942
1963
42,245
40,826
52,361
1964
44,662
42,144
54,879
1965
46,027
44,369
56,537
1966
47,725
44,300
59,962
1967
49,368
47,473
61,857
1968
51,783
49,147
64,493
1969
54,898
52,337
67,054
1970
62,356
56,668
72,742
1971
68,310
61,704
79,348
1972
69,444
69,065
79,727
1973
71,076
70,912
79,891
1974
75,945
70,931
84,905
1975
85,541
76,834
93,612
1976
90,733
78,444
105,901
1977
90,357
82,700
113,558
1978
91,959
86,515
119,002
1979
98,826
96,139
121,689
1980
105,161
99,416
127,433 c
1981
118,731
111,892
134,271 c
1982
130,420
117,224
147,468 c
1983
146,039
131,545
161,970 c
1984
149,618
142,822
168,767 c
1985
156,182
148,423
176,526
1986
162,998
155,211
184,317 c
1987
166,960
162,339
189,098 c
1988
170,558
170,258
189,378 c
1989
171,623
168,586
189,601 c
1990
161,579
157,285
197,622 c
1991
155,088
160,151
192,559
1991[12]
-
-
177,313
1992[13]
167,909
169,334
171,244 c
1993
178,126
171,735
174,457 c
1994
190,981
181,065
182,413 c
1995
205,177
183,325
197,139 c
1996
220,377
203,615
212,439 c
1997
212,023
199,050
225,009 c
1998
198,935
202,855
217,495 c
1999
194,828
211,217
200,447 c
2000
188,408
192,418
197,166 c
2001
187,583
183,993
198,960 c
2002
220,844
202,859
212,732 c
2003
203,762
201,227
212,004 c
2004
232,876
201,990
241,264 c
2005
200,887
219,628
221,888 c
2006
215,247
225,586
208,218 c
2007
212,043
194,018
226,748 c
2008
223,093
189,381
257,271 c
2009
233,253
221,461
273,645 c
2010
239,858
268,729
244,252 c
2011
242,383
259,855
224,259 c
2012
230,750
226,014
226,714 c
2013
236,365
208,572
254,514 c
2014
250,367
211,728
293,297 c
2015
237,453
230,273
300,276 c
2016
231,715
225,005
306,986
Notations:
a: discrepancy between exhibit and text of report
b: totaled from cases reported as admiralty, bankruptcy (1875 only), and other suits
c: revised total presented in the subsequent year's report
Notes :
[1] Beginning in 1881, includes the District of Columbia and district courts in U.S. territories and possessions.
[2] 1873-1875 includes bankruptcy cases.
[3] No data submitted by the following districts: Eastern Arkansas, Northern Florida, Western Missouri, Western Texas, Arizona, District of Columbia.
[4] No report submitted by the following districts: Eastern Missouri, Northern Ohio, Western Virginia, Eastern Wisconsin, District of Columbia, and Washington.
[5] No report submitted by the Northern District of Ohio.
[6] No data submitted by the Northern District of Mississippi.
[7] No data submitted by the following districts: Southern Florida, Kentucky, and Western Texas. No data on circuit court business was submitted by the Northern District of New York.
[8] No reports submitted by Southern District of Georgia.
[9] No report received by the following districts and territories: Northern Florida, Southern Georgia, New Hampshire, Northern New York, Arizona, Dakota, District of Columbia, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, Wyoming.
[10] No report submitted by the territory of New Mexico.
[11] Department of Justice adopted new procedures for compiling statistics during the year and published its data based on the old system as separate tables for the first half of the year.
[12] In 1992, the statistical year was changed 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 is included here.
[13] Statistical year changed to ending September 30.
Sources:
1873-1880: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit C.
1881-1902: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit D.
1903-1904: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 14.
1905-1907: Annual Report of the Attorney General , Exhibit 9.
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 4.
1941: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table 3.
1942-44: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table 5.
1945-2016: Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts , Table C-1.