The number of women facing insolvency proceedings has overtaken men for the first time ever.


Figures released by the Insolvency Service for 2014, which covered location, age and gender revealed that combined bankrupt, IVA and DRO numbers for women overtook total male insolvencies last year.

Some other key findings that were published include:

  • In 9 out of the 10 regions the female insolvency rate was higher than the male insolvency rate, the exception being the South East where the male insolvency rate was higher than the female insolvency rate
  • The insolvency rate was higher among females than males in most of the age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54. The insolvency rate was higher for males than females in the age groups: 55-64 and 65+
  • Areas with the highest insolvency rates were concentrated in seaside resort areas, parts of the North East, South West and Merseyside.

“These statistics show that in 2014, for the first time, more women than men entered a formal insolvency process.  Looking into the statistics in more detail they show that the insolvency rate was higher amongst females than males below the age of 55 but above that age it is higher amongst men.  There will inevitably be many reasons for this but it may be that women are less likely to stick their head in the sand about debt problems or it could be that low value or consumer debts have a bigger impact on women’s finances than men. It is probably also a reflection of women’s increasing economic activity which is closing the historic gap with their male counterparts.”

David Rankin, Insolvency Practitioner, Harrington Brooks

The total insolvency rate decreased in most regions – this continues the decreasing trend since 2009. In terms of age range people facing bankruptcy, IVA or DRO proceedings were highest in the 35-44 age category for both men and women.