Gender insolvency gap remains for fourth consecutive year

Recent statistics released by the Insolvency Service have once again shown that women are more likely to enter into insolvency proceedings than men.

Marking the fourth consecutive year that this gender gap has been identified, the disparity has widened steadily for some time according to the data. In 2000 and 2016, for example, the percentages of insolvencies including a woman were at 30% and 53.4% respectively, whereas last year they rose to 53.9%.

To add to that, over the course of 2017, women were involved in 65.4% of debt relief orders and 53% of individual voluntary arrangements, though men still possessed higher bankruptcy rates.

Across both men and women, personal insolvency levels increased in all regions of England and Wales in 2016 and 2017. Whilst the former stood at 19.7 per 10,000 adults, the latter went up to 21.4, which is the highest figure since 2014.

Looking geographically, the North East and coastal towns such as Scarborough generally suffered from the largest concentrations of insolvencies (which is a pattern that has already been established in recent years), with Stoke-on-Trent being the local authority with the most.

Commenting on the above, Mark Sands, Chair of the Personal Insolvency Committee at R3, said that the gender issue can be attributed to numerous factors. As well as often being paid less than men for comparable work, it is more probable that women will work part-time and be single parents.

He additionally said that the decline of industries is partly to blame for the seaside locations underperforming, with these finding that the typically low-paid seasonal work dries up in the winter months due to the weather.

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