Annual statistics

We publish annual statistics for personal insolvency, including bankruptcies, debt agreements and personal insolvency agreements.

Provisional annual personal insolvency statistics 2017-18

State / territory Bankruptcies (Parts IV and XI) Debt agreements (Part IX) Personal insolvency agreements
(Part X)
Total personal insolvency activity
NSW 4,604 4,464 50 9,118
ACT 186 220 2 408
Vic 3,066 2,622 34 5,722
Qld 5,013 4,160 62 9,235
SA 1,138 765 21 1,924
NT 158 191 3 352
WA 2,064 1,918 38 4,020
Tas 464 332 3 799
Other 118 162 1 281
Total 16,811 14,834 214 31,859

Note 1: All the above figures refer to personal administrations under the Bankruptcy Act only (and not corporate insolvency).

Note 2: State/territory "Other" includes records where no address is stated or where the stated address is not in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

Graph: Annual personal insolvency activity in Australia*

* From the September quarter 2017, geographic coding of personal insolvency statistics follows a new method.

Full report

For the full version of these statistics, see:

Commentary

Key points

  • There were 31,859 personal insolvencies in 2017–18, which is the largest annual number of personal insolvencies since the record of 36,539 set in 2009–10.
  • The number of personal insolvencies rose by 5.6% in 2017–18 compared to 2016–17. By type of personal insolvency:
    • bankruptcies increased by 3.0%
    • debt agreements increased by 9.1%
    • personal insolvency agreements decreased by 12.3%.
  • Personal insolvencies reached record annual levels in Northern Territory and Western Australia in 2017–18.
  • The 14,834 new debt agreements in 2017–18 was the highest annual number on record, and represents the seventh consecutive annual increase. Debt agreements were at record annual levels in all states and territories except Tasmania.
  • There were 214 new personal insolvency agreements in 2017–18, a fall of 12.3% from 244 in 2016–17. Personal insolvency agreements fell to a record annual low in Victoria.

Total personal insolvency activity

There were 31,859 personal insolvencies in Australia in 2017–18. This is the largest annual number of personal insolvencies since the record of 36,539 set in 2009–10. The annual rise, of 5.6% from 30,161 in 2016–17, is the third in succession.

The rise in personal insolvencies in 2017–18 compared to 2016–17 was the result of increases in:

  • Northern Territory (14.3%)
  • Western Australia (12.9%)
  • Tasmania (10.2%)
  • New South Wales (7.1%)
  • South Australia (5.1%)
  • Queensland (2.6%).

These rises were partly offset by a fall of 1.5% in Victoria. There was no change from 2016–17 in Australian Capital Territory.

Personal insolvencies reached record annual levels in Northern Territory (352) and Western Australia (4,020) in 2017–18.

Total personal insolvency activity in Australia: % change compared to the previous year

Bankruptcies

There were 16,811 new bankruptcies in Australia in 2017–18, an increase of 3.0% from 16,320 in 2016–17. The annual rise in bankruptcies is the largest since 2008–09, with the only other rise of 0.2% occurring in 2015–16. Despite this rise, the number of bankruptcies is below 2008–09, when there were 27,520 bankruptcies.

The annual rise in bankruptcies in 2017–18 was the result of increases in:

  • Northern Territory (31.7%)
  • Tasmania (11.0%)
  • Western Australia (10.6%)
  • New South Wales (3.0%)
  • Queensland (2.9%)
  • South Australia (0.6%).

These increases were partly offset by falls in:

  • Australian Capital Territory (5.6%)
  • Victoria (5.4%).

Bankruptcies reached an annual record high of 158 in Northern Territory.

Bankruptcies in Australia: % change compared to previous year

Debt agreements

There were 14,834 new debt agreements in 2017–18, an increase of 9.1% from 13,597 in 2016–17. This is the highest annual number of debt agreements on record and represents the seventh consecutive annual increase. Debt agreements have increased as a proportion of total personal insolvencies from 23.4% to 46.6% since 2008–09.

Debt agreements increased in 2017–18 compared to 2016–17 in all states and territories. All states and territories reached record annual highs except for Tasmania. There were 332 debt agreements in Tasmania, two less than the record level of 334 set in 2012–13.

Debt agreements in Australia: % change compared to same quarter in previous year

Personal insolvency agreements

Personal insolvency agreements fluctuate more than bankruptcies and debt agreements because the annual levels of this type are relatively small.

There were 214 new personal insolvency agreements in 2017–18, a fall of 12.3% from 244 in 2016–17. Personal insolvency agreements were the only type of personal insolvency to decline in annual terms in 2017–18. The annual fall in personal insolvency agreements in 2017–18 was the result of falls in:

  • Australian Capital Territory (71.4%, from 7 personal insolvency agreements to 2)
  • Northern Territory (40.0%, from 5 personal insolvency agreements to 3)
  • Victoria (33.3%)
  • Western Australia (30.9%)
  • Tasmania (25.0%, from 4 personal insolvency agreements to 3).

These falls were partially offset by rises in:

  • South Australia (50.0%)
  • Queensland (5.1%)
  • New South Wales (2.0%).

Personal insolvency agreements fell to a record low of 34 in Victoria in 2017–18.

Personal insolvency agreements in Australia: % change compared to previous year

Further information

For further information on these statistics, please read the Guide to provisional personal insolvency statistics.