Who Files Bankruptcy?

Who Files Bankruptcy?

Nearly 1 million people filed for bankruptcy in 2014. People who file bankruptcy come from a wide variety of backgrounds and represent a cross section of this country.

Who Files Bankruptcy?

Nearly 1 million people filed for bankruptcy in 2014. People who file bankruptcy come from a wide variety of backgrounds and represent a cross section of this country.

Gender

Bankruptcy Filers:
  • 52% of bankruptcy filers are women
  • 47% of bankruptcy filers are men
United States Population:
  • 50.8% are women
  • 49.2% are men.
When it comes to gender neither men nor women are better at avoiding bankruptcy

According to The Center for Financial Literacy, the number of women bankruptcy debtors is on the decline while the number of men filing for debt relief is on the rise.

Age

Bankruptcy Filers:
  • 18-24 years old: 1%
  • 25-34 years old: 15%
  • 35-44 years old: 27%
  • 45-54 years old: 28%
  • 55-64 years old: 18%
  • 65 years and older: 9%
United States Population:
  • 18-24 years old: 9.9%
  • 25-34 years old: 13.3%
  • 35-44 years old: 13.3%
  • 45-54 years old: 14.6%
  • 55-64 years old: 11.8%
  • 65 years and older: 13.0%

The majority of people filing bankruptcy are between 35 and 54 years old. This tends to be when life is most expensive: a house, a second car, and children.

Individual Income

Bankruptcy Filers:
  • $20,000 or less: 38%
  • $20,001-$30,000: 21%
  • $30,001-$40,000: 15%
  • $40,001-$50,000: 10%
  • $50,001-$60,000: 7%
  • $60,001 or more: 9%
United States Population:
  • $20,000 or less: 35.82%
  • $20,001–$30,000: 15.01%
  • $30,001-$40,000: 11.68%
  • $40,001-$50,000: 8.61%
  • $50,001-$60,000: 6.54%
  • $60,001 or more: 27.71%

Like the majority of Americans, the majority of bankruptcy filers also earn less than $40,000 per year.

Education Attainment

Bankruptcy Filers:
  • Primary School: 5%
  • High School Diploma/GED: 36%
  • Some College Education: 28%
  • Associates Degree: 8%
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 13%
  • Graduate Level Education: 6%.

Approximately 70% of bankruptcy filers don’t have a college degree.

United States Population:

Approximately 68% of Americans over 25 don’t have a college degree.

Region of the Country

Bankruptcies across the United States:
  • California, Nevada, and Utah have the most bankruptcy cases on the West coast.
  • Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan have the most bankruptcy cases in the Midwest.
  • Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia have the most bankruptcy cases in the South.
  • The east coast has the fewest bankruptcy filings in the United States.