UK individual insolvency statistics - Q4 2023

The October to December 2023 (Q4) individual insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – 2023

There were 103,454 individual insolvencies in 2023, which was 13% lower than those registered in 2022. In 2023, there were a total of:

  • 64,053 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) – a 27% decrease from 2022
  • 31,717 debt relief orders (DROs) – a 31% increase from 2022
  • 7,684 bankruptcies – a 15% increase from 2022

The lower number of individual insolvencies in 2023 was driven by a 27% decrease in IVAs compared to 2022. DROs increased by 31% and were a record high annual number. Bankruptcy numbers increased 15% from the 40-year low in 2022, but remained low compared pre-2021 levels.

Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q4 2023

In Q4 2023, there were a total of 24,910 individual insolvencies, including:

  • 13,823 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
  • 9,064 debt relief orders (DROs)
  • 2,023 bankruptcies

Total individual insolvencies in Q4 2023 increased by 3% from Q3 2023, but decreased by 15% when compared to Q4 2023.


After seasonal adjustment, the number of IVAs registered in Q4 2023 slightly increased from the previous quarter, but was 36% lower than in Q4 2022.


The number of DROs in Q4 2023 increased by 7% from the previous quarter to the highest quarterly level recorded since their introduction in 2009. They were also 47% higher when compared to the same quarter last year. DRO numbers in 2023 may have been affected by the opening of new DRO hubs.


Bankruptcies in Q4 2023 consisted of:

  • 1,541 debtors’ applications
  • 448 creditors’ petitions

Breathing Space registrations

There were 20,890 registered Breathing Spaces in Q4 2023. These comprised of:

  • 20,517 standard Breathing Space registrations
  • 373 mental health Breathing Space registrations

Breathing Space registrations were 15% higher in Q4 2023 than in Q4 2023.

Individual insolvency rate statistics for England and Wales – 2023

In 2023:

  • 1 in 461 individuals became insolvent
  • the individual insolvency rate was 21.7 per 10,000 adults in England and Wales

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 2023, there were:

  • 360 bankruptcies (seasonally adjusted) where the individual was self-employed, an increase of 3% on Q2 2023 and 15% higher than the same period last year
  • 1,672 bankruptcies among other individuals in Q3 2023, an increase of 9% compared with the previous quarter and 20% higher than the same quarter of the previous year

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

Individual insolvency statistics for Scotland – Q4 2023

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland. They reported that there were 2,014 individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q4 2023, which was similar to the number in the same quarter of 2023.

Of the total individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q4 2023, there were:

  • 1,393 protected trust deeds
  • 621 sequestrations (of which 370 went into bankruptcy via the minimal asset process route)

Individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – Q4 2023

In Northern Ireland in Q4 2023, there were 312 individual insolvencies. Of the total individual insolvencies, there were:

  • 224 IVAs
  • 34 DROs
  • 54 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 Q1 2024 will be released on 25 April 2024.

You can see all personal insolvency notices in The Gazette.

See also

Company insolvency statistics – Q4 2023

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - December 2023

UK individual insolvency statistics – Q3 2023

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Individual Insolvency Statistics, October to December 2023 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)


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Publication date

8 February 2024