Guide to gender of insolvent debtors

Read more about gender of insolvent debtors.


This is an annual publication on the gender of insolvent debtors. It replaces information previously reported in our biennial publication, Profiles of Debtors. This facilitates more timely information and analysis.

Data collection

Every debtor is required to lodge a completed statement of affairs with us. There are questions about the socioeconomic characteristics of the debtor on this form. We compile our statistics from this information.

When a bankruptcy is the result of a sequestration order, there may be a delay before the bankrupt lodges a statement of affairs. The sequestration order does not report on most of the socioeconomic characteristics of the bankrupt. When this occurs, we report the record as not stated. We update our records when the bankrupt lodges his or her statement of affairs form. We do not revise our statistics with this updated data. Bankruptcies resulting from sequestration orders accounted for 11% of bankruptcies in 2013–14.

Gender of debtors

Debtors must supply their gender on the statement of affairs. We source our information on the gender of debtors from these responses.

When we ask debtors what the main reason for their insolvency was, we ask them to choose from a list of causes. This list separates business and non-business related causes. If a debtor selects a business related cause, we report this as a business related personal insolvency.

We report on proceedings administered under the Bankruptcy Act 1966. For example, a carpenter is operating as a sole trader. Due to economic conditions, he or she becomes bankrupt. We report this as a business related personal insolvency.

Corporate insolvency statistics are available from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). For example, a construction company enters external administration. This is a corporate insolvency in ASIC’s statistics. It does not appear in our statistics.

If we know the gender of the debtor, we publish a breakdown of whether the personal insolvency was business related.

Comparison with other datasets

Statistics on personal insolvencies can count the number of administrations or the number of people. When an insolvency proceeding involves two or more partners, it is counted as one administration. Statistics based on the number of people are likely to be higher than statistics based on the number of administrations.

We report on the gender of debtors based on the number of people.

The statistics in this publication are the same as in Ages of insolvent debtors, but they may not match data that we have released in other publications. Because we record personal insolvency activity on a live system, our information is subject to change. Our publications are correct as at the time of compilation.

Data quality

We take great care to ensure that the personal insolvency statistics are correct and accurate at the time of compilation.

We continue to receive information after we release our statistics, however we do not revise them. Delays in the receipt, processing and administration of personal insolvencies may affect our statistics.


We do not revise our statistics unless we identify an error. From time to time, we may enhance our reporting. Our guides and other explanatory materials advise of the changes and the impacts on the data.