How common is bankruptcy in North Carolina?

In 2010, there were about 25,000 non-business (consumer debt) bankruptcy filings in North Carolina. These filings include both individual cases and joint (husband and wife) cases, so the number of persons filing was somewhat higher than 25,000. North Carolina is home to about 9.5 million people (2010 census). There are about 3.5 million households in North Carolina. This amounts to a bankruptcy rate of about 7 filings per 1000 households, or one filing for every 140 households. On a per capita basis, there were 2.6 filings per 1000 persons.

To provide some context, the marriage rate in North Carolina was 6.7 per 1000 persons in 2009, the divorce rate in North Carolina was 3.8 per 1000, and the birth rate was 13.5 per 1000 (per NC SCHS). Bankruptcy is usually a very discreet process, so despite occurring at a rate in the same order of magnitude as common events such as marriage or divorce, many people may nonetheless be unaware of any acquaintance who has filed bankruptcy.

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