Annual 2015 – 2016 Personal Insolvency Statistics

Annual statistics

Provisional annual personal insolvency statistics 2015-16
State / territory Bankruptcies (Parts IV and XI) Debt agreements (Part IX) Personal insolvency agreements
(Part X)
Total insolvency activity
NSW 4,971 3,750 45 8,766
ACT 166 202 1 369
Vic 3,478 2,344 43 5,865
Qld 5,200 3,668 44 8,912
SA 1,164 536 9 1,709
NT 100 155 1 256
WA 1,682 1,237 26 2,945
Tas 441 258 6 705
Total 17,202 12,150 175 29,527

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

Graph: Annual personal insolvency activity in Australia

Annual personal insolvency activity in Australia


Key points

  • The number of personal insolvencies increased 4.4% in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15. By type of personal insolvency:
    • bankruptcies increased 0.2%
    • debt agreements increased 11.4%
    • personal insolvency agreements fell 18.2%.
  • The rise in bankruptcies in 2015–16 is the first annual rise since 2008–09.
  • Western Australia and Queensland were the main contributors to the national rise in bankruptcies in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15.
  • Bankruptcies in South Australia in 2015–16 fell to the lowest level on record.
  • Debt agreements in 2015–16 were the highest level on record. They have reached new records each year since 2011–12.
  • Debt agreements in 2015–16 were the highest level on record in all states and territories except the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania.
  • Personal insolvency agreements in 2015–16 reached their lowest level since 2005–06.

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Total personal insolvency activity

There were 29,527 personal insolvencies in 2015–16, a rise of 4.4% from 28,288 in 2014–15.

The rise in personal insolvencies in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15 was the result of increases in:

  • Queensland (9.3%)
  • Western Australia (19.5%)
  • Victoria (1.8%)
  • Northern Territory (15.3%).

These rises were partly offset by falls in:

  • New South Wales (-0.7%)
  • Tasmania (-4.9%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (-4.9%)
  • South Australia (-0.8%).

The rise in personal insolvencies in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15 follows falls since 2010-11.

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

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

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Bankruptcies

There were 17,202 bankruptcies in 2015–16, a rise of 0.2% from 17,163 in 2014–15.

The rise in bankruptcies in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15 was the result of increases in:

  • Western Australia (22.7%)
  • Queensland (4.3%).

These increases were partly offset by falls in:

  • New South Wales (-6.9%)
  • Victoria (-2.1%)
  • Tasmania (-3.7%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (-8.8%)
  • South Australia (-0.6%)
  • Northern Territory (-4.8%).

This is the first annual rise in bankruptcies since 2008–09.

Bankruptcies in Australia: % change compared to the previous year

Bankruptcies in Australia: percentage change compared to previous year

Debt agreements

There were 12,150 debt agreements in 2015–16, an increase of 11.4% from 10,911 in 2014–15. Debt agreements were the highest number on record in 2015–16.

The rise in debt agreements in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15 was the result of rises in the number of debt agreements in:

  • Queensland (17.6%)
  • New South Wales (9.1%)
  • Victoria (8.8%)
  • Western Australia (15.8%)
  • Northern Territory (33.6%)
  • South Australia (0.8%).

These rises were partly offset by falls in:

  • Tasmania (-8.2%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (-1.0%).

Debt agreements have increased in each year compared to the previous year since 2011–12.

Debt agreements in Australia: % change compared to the previous year

Debt agreements in Australia: percentage change compared to previous year

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Personal insolvency agreements

Personal insolvency agreements fluctuate more than bankruptcies and debt agreements because they are so small.

There were 175 personal insolvency agreements in 2015–16, a fall of 18.2% from 214 in 2014–15.

The decrease in personal insolvency agreements in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15 was the result of falls in:

  • Victoria (-23.2%)
  • New South Wales (-18.2%)
  • South Australia (-52.6%)
  • Queensland (-17.0%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (-50.0%).

These falls were partly offset by a rise in Tasmania (200.0%, from 2 to 6 personal insolvency agreements). Personal insolvency agreements in Western Australia and the Northern Territory were unchanged in 2015–16 compared to 2014–15.

The annual fall in personal insolvency agreements in 2015–16 follows a rise in 2014–15.

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

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