Insolvency Service reveals bankruptcy figures

Amanda Jarvis

March 28, 2006

Men are still more likely to become bankrupt, than women, and have average scheduled debts of about £46,000 according to a research report by The Insolvency Service.

The report, 'Characteristics of Bankruptcy' revealed for the first time, the age, gender, average debts and number of creditors for bankrupts in England and Wales over a four year period between 2001 to 2005.

Men represent about 61 per cent of those who become bankrupt in 2005, down from about 68 per cent in 2001. The report also showed the average age of bankrupts fell slightly from 43 to 41 in the four year period of the report. People aged 30 to 39 accounted for 33 per cent of bankrupts in 2001 compared to 32.3 per cent in 2005. People aged 40 to 49 accounted for 30.9 per cent of bankrupts in 2001 compared to 26 per cent in 2005.

However, the number of bankruptcies among young people aged between 18 to 29 rose from 7.9 per cent of bankrupts in 2001 to 18.7 per cent of bankrupts in 2005.

Mike Norris, Insolvency Service, director of policy said, “The research gives us some interesting information about the characteristics of bankrupts over the period. While the profile might be changing in some respects, men in their 30's and 40's continue to account for the largest number of bankruptcies and average scheduled debts continue to fall between £45-50,000.”

Regional figures reflect the national profile. Men were still more likely than women to become bankrupt in all of the seven regions, although the proportion of women bankrupts is increasing.

All of the regions show an increase in the number of young people aged 18 – 29 becoming bankrupt. The largest increases being in the Midlands and the South West with increases of more than 12 per cent over the period.

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