Bankruptcy may be more common than you think. First, each year hundreds of thousands of people file bankruptcy. But who are these people? They're just like the rest of America.
A recent study looks at the demographics of bankruptcy filers to reveal they look much like the rest of the country. The average bankruptcy filer is employed, and educated. In fact, a good percentage of filers even have graduated degrees. Men and women file, as do people of all races and ages.
In 2009, nearly 1.5 million people filed bankruptcy. But who are these people? The numbers may surprise you.
More than half of the filers had jobs. Only 13 percent were unemployed.
Nearly three-quarters were Caucasian. Most filers were women. More than half were between the ages of 35 and 54, and more than 20 percent filed before they turned 34.
The majority attended college and almost all graduated high school. Half earned less than $30,000 a year but a quarter of filers earned at least $40,000.
In all, the average bankruptcy filer was 40 years old, female, white, earned a high school degree, was employed, and earned less than $30,000 each year.