UK individual insolvency statistics - Q4 2022

The October to December 2022 (Q4) individual insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Calculator on white background

Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – 2022

There were 118,850 individual insolvencies in 2022, which was higher when compared to 2021 (8%), but a 3% decrease when compared to 2019. In 2022, there were a total of:

  • 87,969 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) – an 8% increase from 2021
  • 24,219 debt relief orders (DROs) – a 17% increase from 2021
  • 6,662 bankruptcies – a 30% decrease from 2021

The higher number of individual insolvencies in 2022 was driven by a 17% increase in DROs and an 8% increase in IVAs compared to 2021. Bankruptcies were 31% lower than 2021 and were the lowest annual number since 1982. Compared to 2019 there were 60% (approximately 10,000) fewer bankruptcies in 2022, but 13% (approximately 10,000) more IVAs. DRO numbers were down 12% (approximately 3,000).

Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q4 2022

In Q4 2022, there were a total of 29,589 individual insolvencies, including:

  • 21,865 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
  • 6,142 debt relief orders (DROs)
  • 1,582 bankruptcies

Total individual insolvencies in Q4 2022 increased by 6% from Q3 2022 and by 7% when compared to Q4 2021.

However, The Insolvency Service urge caution when interpreting IVA numbers as they are counted once they are registered with the Insolvency Service by licensed insolvency practitioners and there can be a time lag between the date on which the IVA is accepted and the date of registration.

Bankruptcies in Q4 2022 consisted of:

  • 1,308 debtors’ applications
  • 263 creditors’ petitions

The numbers of debtors’ applications and creditors’ petitions in Q4 and in 2022 were amongst the lowest seen since 1998 when data on petition type started to be captured.

The number of debt relief orders in 2022 was 20% higher than 2021, but 12% lower than in 2019 (pre-pandemic). The number of DROs in Q4 2022 increased by 10% from the previous quarter and were also 5% higher when compared to the same quarter last year.

Breathing Space Registrations

There were 70,546 registered breathing spaces in 2022. These comprised of:

  • 69,334 standard breathing space registrations
  • 1,212 mental health breathing space registrations

Average quarterly Breathing Space numbers were 14% higher than in 2021. Since the start of the scheme in 4 May 2021, more than 110,000 breathing spaces have been registered.

Individual insolvency rate statistics for England and Wales – 2022

In 2022:

  • 1 in 399 individuals became insolvent
  • the individual insolvency rate was 25.0 per 10,000 adults in England and Wales
  • this is higher than the 23.3 per 10,000 adults who entered insolvency in 2021, but a decrease from the 26.1 per 10,000 adults who entered insolvency in 2019 (pre-pandemic)

Unlike the absolute number of individual insolvencies over a period, the individual insolvency rate indicates the probability of a person entering insolvency in the previous four quarters. In general, periods of economic growth result in individual insolvency rates decreasing.

Bankruptcies by self-employment status

Bankruptcies by self-employment status are presented by The Insolvency Service with a one quarter lag. This is because it can take several weeks for trading status to be recorded following the date of the bankruptcy order.

In Q3 2022, there were:

  • 311 bankruptcies (seasonally adjusted) where the individual was self-employed, an increase of 2% on Q2 2022, but 4% lower than the same period last year
  • 1,416 bankruptcies among other individuals in Q3 2022, an increase of 4% compared with the previous quarter, but 13% lower than the same quarter of the previous year

Both bankruptcies amongst the self-employed and other individuals remained historically low in Q4 2022.

Individual insolvency statistics for Scotland – Q4 2022

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland. They reported that there were 1,966 individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q4 2022, which was 5% lower than during the same quarter of 2021.

Of the total individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q4 2022, there were:

  • 574 sequestrations (of which 345 went into bankruptcy via the minimal asset process route)
  • 1,392 protected trust deeds

Individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – Q4 2022

In Northern Ireland in Q4 2022, there were 430 individual insolvencies. Of the total individual insolvencies, there were:

  • 388 IVAs
  • 27 DROs
  • 15 bankruptcies

Please note, individual insolvency in Northern Ireland is governed by separate, but broadly similar, legislation to England and Wales, and so figures are presented separately.

Where can I see insolvency notices in The Gazette?

The Gazette is the primary source of both corporate insolvency and personal insolvency information in the UK and publishes this information in the form of insolvency notices, allowing transparency for the public, the credit industry and concerned individuals to quantify risk and inform creditors. You can view all corporate and personal insolvency notices on The Gazette website.

The Gazette also provides a data service which gives access to official intelligence on all UK businesses, corporate and personal insolvencies. Benefits of The Gazette’s data service include:

  • Bespoke reports - tailored around your specific business
  • Geo-targeted editions - available for specific geographical targeting (National, London, Belfast, Edinburgh)
  • Custom filters - specific custom attributes (company number, notice type, key terms)
  • Data at regular intervals - delivered at a rate to match your business needs (daily, weekly, monthly)

For more information on The Gazette’s data service, contact the team on 01603 985949 or email

Enquire now

Next insolvency statistics release

Figures for Q4 2022 will be released on 28 April 2023.

You can see all personal insolvency notices in The Gazette.

See also

Company insolvency statistics – Q4 2022

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - December 2022

UK individual insolvency statistics – Q3 2022

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Individual Insolvency Statistics, October to December 2022 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)


Getty Images

Publication date: 8 February 2023