Personal insolvencies and other debt issues

Key findings for 2016 and recent changes

Total individual insolvencies in England and Wales fell steadily from a high point of 30.9 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population (aged 18 and over) in 2009, to 17.6 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population in 2015.

In 2016, however, total insolvencies have increased to 19.7 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population in England and Wales (a rise of 2.1 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population since 2015). Individual insolvencies have risen by 13.1% (10,517), from 80,188 in 2015, to 90,705 in 2016.  

For the Lancashire-12 area, total insolvencies per 10,000 adult population have been greater than those for England and Wales since 2010. Total insolvencies peaked at 2,994 in the Lancashire-12 area in 2010, or 32.4 per 10,000 adult population, but then fell to 20.1 per 10,000 adult population by 2015. However, total insolvencies have also risen in the Lancashire-12 area over the last year, to 21.5 per 10,000 adult population in 2016 (an increase of 1.4 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population). The numbers rose by 7.8% (149) from 1,902 in 2015, to 2,051 in 2016. This was a lower percentage increase than recorded for England and Wales (13.1%).

High insolvency rates are noted in some coastal authorities, and in 2016, Torbay had the highest in England and Wales (43.0 per 10,000 adult population), whilst Scarborough recorded a rate of 38.2 per 10,000 adult population, ranked in third place. Blackpool (34.6 per 10,000 adult population) had the highest rate in the Lancashire-14 area and the 10th highest out of the 348 authorities in England and Wales. At the other end of the scale, Harrow (8.3) and the City of London (6.1) had the lowest insolvencies per 10,000 adult population.

Nine of the Lancashire-14 authorities had greater insolvency rates (per 10,000 adult population) than England and Wales (19.7) in 2016. The highest of these were in Blackpool (34.6), Preston (27.7), Rossendale (25.9) and Blackburn with Darwen (25.2).

Table 1: Total individual insolvencies, and individual insolvency rates (per 10,000 adult population aged 18 or over) for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015 and 2016

 

2009

2010

2011

2015

2016

Count

Rate per 10,000 adult pop

Count

Rate per 10,000 adult pop

Count

Rate per 10,000 adult pop

Count

Rate per 10,000 adult pop

Count

Rate per 10,000 adult pop

Burnley

224

33.3

244

36.2

173

25.6

139

20.5

136

20.1

Chorley

337

40.3

377

44.6

337

39.5

185

20.6

214

23.5

Fylde

176

28.5

180

29.1

168

27.0

80

12.6

118

18.4

Hyndburn

226

36.6

198

32.0

159

25.7

128

20.7

136

21.9

Lancaster

260

23.7

289

26.1

333

29.8

201

17.4

213

18.3

Pendle

189

27.5

204

29.6

180

26.1

132

19.1

135

19.4

Preston

254

23.5

308

28.3

316

28.8

304

27.5

307

27.7

Ribble Valley

134

29.9

108

24.0

103

22.8

74

15.9

77

16.4

Rossendale

185

35.3

183

34.7

181

34.1

120

22.1

141

25.9

South Ribble

326

38.0

366

42.5

274

31.7

175

20.1

161

18.4

West Lancashire

269

30.9

287

32.7

266

30.3

186

20.6

220

24.1

Wyre

228

26.0

250

28.5

238

27.1

178

19.8

193

21.4

Lancashire-12

2,808

30.6

2,994

32.4

2,728

29.4

1,902

20.1

2,051

21.5

Blackburn with Darwen

387

36.0

389

35.9

351

32.2

227

20.9

274

25.2

Blackpool

543

47.9

627

55.2

640

56.5

336

30.3

383

34.6

North West

16,561

30.2

17,377

31.5

16,203

29.2

11,516

20.4

12,834

22.6

England and Wales

134,053

30.9

134,479

30.7

119,031

26.9

80,188

17.6

90,705

19.7

Note: Rates per 10,000 adult population are calculated using Mid-year population estimates for persons aged 18 or over. Source: The Insolvency Service

2016 was the first year that South Ribble had had a lower number of insolvencies per 10,000 adult population than the UK over the last eight years. For Pendle, it was the first time since 2011.

Fylde recorded the largest yearly increase in the number of insolvencies per 10,000 adult population in the Lancashire-14 area, rising by 5.8 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population to 18.4 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population in 2016. This was greater than the rise in England and Wales over the last year (2.1 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population). However, the insolvency rate for Fylde in 2016 was still lower than that for England and Wales.

Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen saw the second largest increases in the total number of insolvencies per 10,000 adult population between 2015 and 2016, both rising by 4.3 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population.

Rossendale (3.7), West Lancashire (3.5) and Chorley (2.9) also recorded increases to their insolvency rates (per 10,000 adult population) between 2015 and 2016 that were greater than the rise recorded in England and Wales (2.1 insolvencies per 10,000 adult population).

South Ribble (-1.7) and Burnley (-0.4) were the two Lancashire-14 authorities that saw reductions to their insolvency rates (per 10,000 adult population) over the year.

Further analysis

Personal insolvencies and other debt issues, 2016 (PDF, 884 KB)

 Page updated August 2017