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Uh-oh: more of us are going bankrupt

Bankrupt, empty wallet, cashless, savings

Huge mortgages and an increasing cost of living saw more than 32,000 Australians declare bankruptcy in 2017 and the eastern states were the worst hit.

Data registry and analytics business, ilion, yesterday (30 January) released its Personal Bankruptcy Analysis for 2017, which revealed that the number of personal bankruptcies increased by 6.1 per cent in 2017.

That’s on top of a 4.7 per cent increase in 2016. However, 2014 and 2015 recorded drops in the number of personal bankruptcies.

While Queensland, NSW and Victoria all saw high rates of personal bankruptcies, Queensland was the worst stung.


With 9,454 personal bankruptcies, Queensland had more total bankruptcies than Western Australia (3,900), South Australia (2,100), the Northern Territory (400), Tasmania (800) and the ACT (400).

NSW recorded 9,100 bankruptcies and Victoria recorded 6,100.

ilion reached its findings by compiling official bankruptcy data and running it through its data matching capabilities.

Commenting on the findings, ilion CEO, Simon Bligh said: “Consumer debt levels are rising steadily in Australia as a result of record mortgages and a surge in everyday essentials such as utilities, petrol and healthcare. These factors, combined with weak wage growth, are putting pressure on the wallets of Australians.”

Continuing, Mr Bligh added that natural disasters can also put strain on wallets. Cyclone Debbie hit Queensland early last year, and severely damaged the state’s infrastructure budget as well as tourism and mining projects.

“Major events such as natural disasters not only strain government coffers but have a negative impact on the local economy, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, as well as consumer confidence,” Mr Bligh said.

“While it’s impossible to anticipate every possible risk, we encourage everyone to have an emergency fund to draw on in these instances to pay unexpected bills or damages.”

Looking further into the statistics, the Western Australian suburb of Baldivis had the highest concentration of bankruptcies (103). ilion noted that this statistic could be tied to Western Australia’s post-mining and housing boom economy.

ilion’s data also revealed that the people declaring bankruptcy are growing younger. While the average age of those declaring bankruptcy was 46.7 years in 2013, by 2017 the average age was 40.9.

Women (42.6 per cent) were less likely than men (40.9) to declare bankruptcy.

“The first step for anyone facing financial difficulties is to understand their overall financial position and devise a plan. Doing this on your own can be challenging, so it is important to seek advice from a trusted source,” Mr Bligh concluded.

Top 10 suburbs for bankruptcy

According to the ilion analysis, these are the top 10 states with the highest concentration of bankruptcy declarations:


1 Baldivis, WA 103
2 Pakenham, VIC 88
3 Craigieburn, VIC 88
3 Pimpama, QLD 88
4 Upper Coomera, QLD 85
5 Blacktown, NSW 82
6 Caboolture, QLD 77
7 Orange, NSW  75
7 Southport, QLD 75
8 Dubbo, NSW 74
8 Point Cook, VIC 74
9 Morayfield, QLD 72
10 Kirwan, QLD 71
10 Berwick, VIC 71

Learn more about personal insolvency and how to declare bankruptcy in Nest Egg's basic guide: 'Bankruptcy - what it is and how to avoid it'.

Uh-oh: more of us are going bankrupt
Bankrupt, empty wallet, cashless, savings
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