It is perhaps an unwelcome accolade, but the latest Insolvency Service statistics show that the north-east is out in front when it comes to insolvency.
The region, in particular, holds all of the following titles:
- greatest overall rise from 2000 to its peak in 2009 (up by 31.2 insolvencies per 10,000 population)
- highest individual insolvency rate for all three main procedures in 2012
- highest overall insolvency rate of all regions since 2008 onwards
- highest current insolvency rate in England and Wales at 33.3 per 10,000 adult population
However, it is not alone in registering a substantial increase in individual insolvencies since the turn of the millennium.
From the year 2000 until insolvencies peaked in 2009, the average per 10,000 adult population rose from 7.2 to 30.9.
Despite falling in each year since then, the nationwide average is still at 24.5 in the latest figures, which relate to 2012.
That equates to a 240% increase in insolvencies over a 12-year period, during which individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) have become much more commonplace, and debt relief orders (DROs) have been introduced as new.
It is not only on a regional basis that insolvency shows some variations; the statistics reveal that those aged between 35 and 44 years old are most at risk.
Men are also more likely to enter into insolvency than women, with the male insolvency rate standing at 25.3 per 10,000 adult population nationwide, while the female rate is at 23.7.
Perhaps surprisingly, given its high cost of living, London had the lowest overall insolvency rate in 2012, at just 14.8 people per 10,000 – 9.7 less than the national average.