The Money Advice Service has announced its 2017 over-indebtedness figures for the UK. This year’s report by the Money Advice Service and CACI reveals that 8.3 million (15.9%) people in the UK are living with a debt problem – the figures show a moderate increase from figures released in 2016 (15.4%).

The statistics from the report include:

  • 8.3 million adults in the UK are living with problem debt
  • The lowest proportion of over-indebted residents live in the South East 13.3 per cent and East of England 14.3 per cent
  • Newham, London revealed as UKs most over-indebted local authority area, 22.7 per cent

People living in Newham in East London are estimated to have higher levels of over-indebtedness compared to anywhere else in the UK. The report reveals a picture of over-indebted individuals who are defined as those who are likely to find meeting monthly bills a “heavy burden” and/or those missing more than three bill payments within a six-month period.

Tower Hamlets, London (22.7%) and Sandwell, West Midlands (22.1%) are next in line to Newham, while those in East Dorset (9.7%), Mole Valley, Surrey (9.9%) and Chiltern, Buckinghamshire (9.9%) are reported to have the lowest proportion of over-indebted residents in the UK.  (Tables 1 & 4).  The top two over-indebted regions in the UK are the North East (17.7%) and Wales (17.7%), followed closely by London (17.2%) and the North West (16.9%).  (Table 2).

Sheila Wheeler, Director of Debt at the Money Advice Service said: “This research tells us that one in six people in the UK have financial worries, a figure that stands at over 8.3 million.  Debt is a complex challenge and one that needs a collaborative approach if we are to successfully address it.”

“We gather this insight to understand where the greatest areas of need are to help us ensure we commission debt advice as effectively as possible.  To support this, a new strategic approach to debt advice commissioning is underway, in addition to a major review of debt advice funding independently led by Peter Wyman.  Over time, and with the support of our partners*, we hope to help more of the 8.3 million people who are struggling.”

References:

Table 1. The Top 10 most Over-Indebted Local Authorities in the UK

Lower Tier Authority Upper Tier Authority Region Adults Over-Indebted % Over-Indebted Adults
           
Newham Inner London London 260,358 22.7% 59,102
Tower Hamlets Inner London London 243,334 22.7% 55,163
Sandwell West Midlands West Midlands 244,549 22.1% 54,066
Nottingham East Midlands 256,550 21.9% 56,160
Barking and Dagenham Outer London London 147,011 21.8% 31,997
Blaenau Gwent Wales 55,752 21.6% 12,034
Kingston upon Hull, City of Yorkshire and The Humber 203,931 21.5% 43,834
Manchester Greater Manchester North West 422,320 21.5% 90,723
Leicester East Midlands 266,260 21.0% 55,976
Hackney Inner London London 215,458 20.9% 45,065

 

Table 2. Over-Indebtedness by Region

Region Adults Over-Indebted % Over-Indebted Adults
       
North East 2,115,868 17.7% 373,963
Wales 2,491,338 17.7% 439,779
London 6,919,069 17.2% 1,190,557
North West 5,699,848 16.9% 964,373
Yorkshire and The Humber 4,290,217 16.9% 724,995
West Midlands 4,547,384 16.6% 756,390
East Midlands 3,760,559 16.2% 608,956
Scotland 4,376,847 15.9% 696,859
Northern Ireland 1,437,885 15.8% 226,516
South West 4,457,700 14.4% 641,607
East of England 4,862,102 14.3% 693,851
South East 7,149,512 13.3% 950,209

 

Table 3. Over-Indebtedness by Country

Country Adults Over-Indebted % Over-Indebted Adults
       
Wales 2,491,338 17.7% 439,779
Scotland 4,376,847 15.9% 696,859
England 43,802,259 15.8% 6,904,901
Northern Ireland 1,437,885 15.8% 226,516

 

Table 4. The 10 least Over-Indebted Local Authorities in the UK

Lower Tier Authority Upper Tier Authority Region Adults Over-Indebted % Over-Indebted Adults
           
East Dorset Dorset South West 73,986 9.7% 7,213
Mole Valley Surrey South East 68,956 9.9% 6,841
Chiltern Buckinghamshire South East 72,917 9.9% 7,241
Elmbridge Surrey South East 100,647 10.0% 10,102
South Bucks Buckinghamshire South East 55,081 10.1% 5,571
Wealden East Sussex South East 128,504 10.4% 13,332
Waverley Surrey South East 96,349 10.5% 10,130
Epsom and Ewell Surrey South East 62,683 10.5% 6,607
Hart Hampshire South East 73,399 10.7% 7,828
Wokingham South East 125,156 10.7% 13,406