Guide to personal insolvency by postcode

Learn more about the personal insolvency activity by postcode statistics.


Each year, we publish the number of bankrupts, debt agreement debtors and personal insolvency agreement debtors by postcode. The time series starts in 2010–11.


Scope and coverage

Every debtor who enters into a personal insolvency administration is required to lodge a completed statement of affairs form. Debtors are required to supply an address on this form.

We report on the address supplied by the debtor in their statement of affairs when possible. When a bankruptcy is the result of a sequestration order, we record the debtors address supplied by the court. We update this address when the bankrupt lodges a statement of affairs. Bankruptcies resulting from sequestration orders accounted for 9% of bankruptcies in 2012–13.

The quality and reliability of our statistics relies on the accuracy of the information provided by bankrupts and debtors in the statement of affairs.

We have confirmed the addresses as valid addresses. In some instances, debtors have provided a non-residential address and postcode, such as a post office box. We have published this information when the postcode is a valid postcode.

We publish information for all valid postcodes where there was one or more insolvent debtor in the reporting period.

There may be more than one person who becomes bankrupt on a single petition (eg persons in partnership or with joint debts). We report on the number of bankrupts and other debtors, not the number of administrations.

Protecting the privacy of debtors

We have suppressed any cell with a value containing one or two to protect the privacy and confidentiality of bankrupts and debtors. Suppressed cells are marked ‘np’.

We have undertaken this measure because of the relatively small populations within each postcode.

Geographic classifications

We classify postcodes using the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Correspondences, July 2011, cat. no. 1270.0.55.006. The ASGS has been used to classify postcodes into:

  • States and Territories
  • Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA)
  • Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)
  • Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3)

The ASGS classifies postcodes 6798 and 6799 as Other Territories. We show the information for these postcodes in the ‘WA and Other Territories’ worksheet.

Further information on the ASGS is available from the ABS website

ABS population figures

We publish ABS 2011 Census population figures for every postcode with at least one insolvent debtor since 2010–11. From 2012–13, we publish the adult population in each postcode. The adult population is the population aged 18 years and over.

The ABS 2011 Census data provides populations for additional postcodes, where we do not have a record of an insolvent debtor in these years. We have used all available postcodes to calculate the population for states and GCCSAs.

The ABS randomly adjusts cells to avoid the release of confidential data. You should not rely on cells with a small population.

Further information on ABS 2011 Census data is available from the ABS website


Our commentary discusses postcodes that have the highest number of debtors and the highest proportion of debtors in the adult population. These postcodes are marked on our maps.

We have not published postcodes with the following features on the maps:

  • No insolvent debtors in the reporting period
  • Information is suppressed to protect the privacy of insolvent debtors in the reporting period
  • Special purpose postcode such as post office box.

Comparison to other datasets

We record insolvency proceedings involving two or more partners as one administration.

We report personal information, including the postcode of debtors, based on the number of people not administrations.

Information in other ITSA publications is not directly reconcilable with this publication. We record personal insolvency activity on a live system which can change regularly. Our publications are correct as at the time of compilation.

To protect the privacy and confidentiality of debtors, we have suppressed cells with small populations. Totals derived from postcode level information may not reconcile with information in other publications such as the ITSA annual report.

Data quality

We take great care to ensure that the personal insolvency statistics are correct and accurate when we compile them.

Delays in the receipt, processing and administration of personal insolvencies may affect the statistics. We compile information on personal insolvency activity by postcode several months after the end of the financial year to minimise the impact of such delays.

We have presented data based on postcodes in response to client requests. We don’t control postcodes or geographic classifications and are not responsible for any changes to postcodes which may affect the data in the future.

Downloading the publication indicates that clients have accepted these limitations on our responsibility for postcodes and geographical classifications.


We do not revise our data unless we find 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.