Annual statistics

We publish annual statistics for personal insolvency, including bankruptcies, debt agreements and personal insolvency agreements.
Provisional annual personal insolvency statistics 2016-17
State / territory Bankruptcies (Parts IV and XI) Debt agreements (Part IX) Personal insolvency agreements
(Part X)
Total insolvency activity
NSW 4,471 3,992 49 8,512
ACT 197 204 7 408
Vic 3,242 2,519 51 5,812
Qld 4,874 4,072 59 9,005
SA 1,131 686 14 1,831
NT 120 183 5 308
WA 1,867 1,638 55 3,560
Tas 418 303 4 725
Total 16,320 13,597 244 30,161

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

Full report

For the full version of these statistics, see:

Commentary

Key points

  • The number of personal insolvencies increased 2.1% in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16. By type of personal insolvency:
    • bankruptcies decreased by 5.1%
    • debt agreements increased 11.9%
    • personal insolvency agreements increased 39.4%.
  • Bankruptcies have fallen in every year since 2009–10 except for 2015–16 (when they increased by 0.2%).
  • New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were the main contributors to the national fall in bankruptcies in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16 (each with falls exceeding 200 bankruptcies in the period). Bankruptcies in South Australia in 2016–17 fell to the lowest level on record for the fourth consecutive financial year.
  • Debt agreements in 2016–17 were the highest level on record (13,597). They have reached new records each year since 2011–12.
  • Debt agreements in 2016–17 were the highest level on record in all states and territories except Tasmania.
  • Personal insolvency agreements in 2016–17 reached their highest level (244) since 2012–13.

Total personal insolvency activity

There were 30,161 personal insolvencies in 2016–17, a rise of 2.1% from 29,527 in 2015–16.

The rise in personal insolvencies in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16 was the result of increases in:

  • Australian Capital Territory (10.6%)
  • Queensland (1.0%)
  • South Australia (7.1%)
  • Northern Territory (20.3%)
  • Western Australia (20.9%)
  • Tasmania (2.8%).

These rises were partly offset by falls in:

  • New South Wales (-2.9%)
  • Victoria (-0.9%).

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

Bankruptcies

There were 16,320 new bankruptcies in 2016–17, a fall of 5.1% from 17,202 in 2015–16.

The fall in bankruptcies in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16 was the result of decreases in:

  • New South Wales (-10.1%)
  • Victoria (-6.8%)
  • Queensland (-6.3%)
  • South Australia (-2.8%)
  • Tasmania (-5.2%).

These decreases were partly offset by rises in:

  • Australian Capital Territory (18.7%)
  • Northern Territory (20.0%)
  • Western Australia (11.0%).

Bankruptcies have fallen in every financial year since 2009–10 except for 2015–16 (when they increased by 0.2%).

Bankruptcies in Australia: % change compared to previous year

Debt agreements

There were 13,597 new debt agreements in 2016–17, an increase of 11.9% from 12,150 in 2015–16. Debt agreements were the highest number on record in 2016–17 for the sixth consecutive financial year.

The rise in debt agreements in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16 was the result of rises in the number of debt agreements in every state and territory:

  • New South Wales (6.5%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (1.0%)
  • Victoria (7.5%)
  • Queensland (11.0%)
  • South Australia (28.0%)
  • Northern Territory (18.1%)
  • Western Australia (32.4%)
  • Tasmania (17.4%).

Debt agreements in Australia: % change compared to same quarter in previous year

Personal insolvency agreements

Personal insolvency agreements fluctuate more than bankruptcies and debt agreements because the annual levels of this type are relatively small.

There were 244 new personal insolvency agreements in 2016–17, a rise of 39.4% from 175 in 2015–16.

The increase in personal insolvency agreements in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16 was the result of rises in:

  • New South Wales (8.9%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (600.0%, from 1 to 7 personal insolvency agreements)
  • Victoria (18.6%)
  • Queensland (34.1%)
  • South Australia (55.6%)
  • Northern Territory (400.0%, from 1 to 5 personal insolvency agreements)
  • Western Australia (111.5%).

These rises were offset by a fall in Tasmania of 33.3% from 6 to 4 personal insolvency agreements.

The annual rise in personal insolvency agreements in 2016–17 follows a fall of -18.2% in 2015–16.

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

Further information

For further information on these statistics, please read the Guide to provisional personal insolvency statistics.