Gender Gap Growing as More Women Enter Insolvency

July 18, 2019

The gap between the number of women entering insolvency and men finding themselves in the same position grew over the course of last year, according to the latest figures.

Overall, the number of people entering insolvency in England and Wales increased during 2018 for the third year in succession to reach a rate of 25 per 10,000 adults, the Insolvency Service has said.

For women, the figures for insolvencies were 26.6 per 10,000 people, while for men the data suggests that 23.3 in every 10,000 entered insolvency at some point last year, which is a widening of that gender gap from 1.8 to 3.2 people per 10,000.

“The gender split in insolvency is a sober reminder that women are more likely to be economically disadvantaged than men; they are more likely to work part-time, or in generally lower paid sectors,” said Mark Sands from the insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

Mr Sands also noted that women are more likely than their male counterparts to find themselves heavily indebted after the breakdown of a relationship.

The financial stress put on women who are single parents is also seen as part of the reason why women are statistically more likely than men to become insolvent or enter bankruptcy across England and Wales.

Another notable finding from the Insolvency Service’s latest data is that people living in coastal towns are disproportionately likely to enter insolvency than those living elsewhere around the country.

In fact, six out of 10 of the ‘insolvency black spots’ identified across England and Wales are seaside towns, with that list including Scarborough, Torbay, Plymouth, Blackpool, Hull and Stockton-on-Tees.

However, the location with the highest rates of insolvency is Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, where 51.9 adults in every 10,000 entered insolvency during 2018, which is more than double the national average.

Regional discrepancies were also highlighted within the Insolvency Service’s latest data, with the lowest levels of insolvency tending to be in London, while the North East of England was found to be the region most affected by personal bankruptcy and insolvency issues.

Paul Barber

Head Adviser at our Manchester Office

Tel: 0800 001 4247

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