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Nevada surpasses Tennessee as highest per capita bankruptcy state

Alaska remains state where bankruptcies least likely

By Tyler Metzger

Editor's note: See the most recent bankruptcy statistic story.

Bankruptcies soared everywhere in the United States in 2009, but Western states saw the biggest surge, according to year-end figures.

Total bankruptcy filings in 2009 reached 1.4 million in 2009, up from 1.09 million in 2008. The vast majority were personal bankruptcies (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13); business bankruptcies made up 6 percent of all filings.

Nevada surpassed Tennessee atop the listing of bankruptcies per capita, with more than 11 bankruptcies filed for every 1,000 residents. Tennessee and Georgia took the second and third slots behind the Silver State.Compared to 2009 third-quarter data, the biggest mover was Arizona, which rose six spots from No. 21 to No. 15.

At the other end of the scale is Alaska, which had only 1.4 bankruptcies per capita, meaning the average Nevadan was eight times more likely to file bankruptcy than the average Alaskan.

Use the table below to find where your state ranks on bankruptcies per capita basis, meaning the number of bankruptcies per every 1,000 residents.

State2009 rank (through Dec. 31)Filings per capita
2008 rank
Nevada 1
11.2 2
Tennessee 2
8.6 1
Georgia 3
7.6 3
Alabama 4
7.4
4
Indiana 5
7.3
5
Michigan 6
6.8 6
Ohio 7
6.1
7
Kentucky 8
5.8 8
Arkansas 9
5.7
9
Colorado 10 5.7
11
Illinois 11
5.6
10
California 12
5.6
14
Utah 13
5.3
20
Delaware 14
5.3
14
Arizona 15
5.2
15
Florida 16
5.2
19
Missouri 17
5.2
15
Idaho 18
5.0
16
Wisconsin 19
4.9
13
Mississippi 20
4.9
23
Rhode Island 21
4.8
29
Oregon 22
4.8
17
Washington 23
4.7
24
Virginia 24
4.7
25
Maryland 25
4.5
28
Louisiana 26
4.1 18
Nebraska 27
4.1
26
Minnesota 28
4.1
30
New Jersey 29
4.1
21
New Hampshire 30
3.9
32
Kansas 31
3.9
27
Oklahoma 32
3.8 31
West Virginia 33
3.6
33
Iowa 34 3.3 34
Massachusetts 35
3.2 36
New Mexico 36
3.0 35
Pennsylvania 37
3.0 38
North Carolina 38
3.0
40
New York 39
2.9
37
Connecticut 40
2.9
41
Maine 41
2.9
39
Montana 42
2.7
45
Vermont 43
2.5
43
Wyoming 44
2.5 42
Hawaii 45
2.4
49
North Dakota 46
2.4
47
South Dakota 47
2.3
48
Texas 48
2.3
44
South Carolina 49
2.2
46
District of Columbia 50
2.0
50
Alaska 51
1.4
51

See related: State by state bankruptcy filings, 2005-2009, Bankruptcy filings soar 32% in 2009, 5 tips for those considering bankruptcy, 4 ways to re-establish credit after bankruptcy, 5 misconceptions after credit after bankruptcy

Published: January 7, 2010


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