Thinking of filing for personal bankruptcy? You are not alone. The United States saw 294,500 Chapter 13 bankruptcies in 2017 and 472,135 nonbusiness Chapter 7 bankruptcies during the same year, for a total of 767,721 nonbusiness bankruptcies nationwide.

This represents a decline from figures in excess of 1 million filings annually during and just after the most recent recession. However, it does represent a significant number of Americans seeking a fresh financial start by filing for bankruptcy.

How many people in Kentucky file for bankruptcy?

In 2018, there were 14,353 total bankruptcy filings in the state of Kentucky. Given a total statewide population of 4,468,402, this amounted to 3.21 filings per 1,000 residents. Based on the latter figure, Kentucky ranked eighth in the nation for the most bankruptcy filings during that year.

Of the seven states outranking Kentucky for the most bankruptcy filings, only two (Illinois and Indiana) are not southern states. There are many reasons why bankruptcy may be more prevalent in the South. Median income levels tend to be lower in this region, and wages tend to fluctuate.

Are certain populations more likely to file than others?

Nationwide, there does not seem to be a racial discrepancy in bankruptcy filings, although African-Americans file Chapter 13 at a disproportionate rate. This may be because Chapter 13 does not necessarily require fees paid upfront. Instead, attorneys include the fees in the repayment plan.

When broken down by gender, women are more likely to file for bankruptcy than men. This may be because of the alleged gender pay gap. Over half of all those who file for bankruptcy are between the ages of 35 and 54, although the average age at which people file has seen a steady increase since 2006.

Despite the many misconceptions about it, filing for bankruptcy happens much more often than you may realize, both in Kentucky and nationwide. You may be one of the thousands for whom bankruptcy improves the overall financial situation.