Record number of bankruptcies

In 2003 close to 8,750 bankruptcies were pronounced. This is the highest number of bankruptcies ever recorded. The previous record of 1982 was 100 less, according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands.

Increasing number of bankruptcies

The total number of bankruptcies pronounced in 2003 was 30 percent higher than in 2002. This means the trend started in 2000 continues. This development is related to the economic downturn in the Netherlands. Almost half of the bankruptcies, namely 4,700 bankruptcies, were private companies (BV’s in Dutch). The number of private individuals, with or without a single owner company, declared bankrupt in 2003 increased by slightly over 30 percent to well over 3,500.

Increase in all branches of industry

Statistics Netherlands observed an increase in bankruptcies among enterprises and institutions in all branches of industry during 2003. The most bankruptcies occurred in  the rentals and commercial services branches, namely over 1,600. Relatively strong increases occurred in agriculture and fisheries and in the hotel and catering branches.

In 2003 an average of almost 11 per 1,000 enterprises and institutions went bankrupt. The differences per branch are great: in manufacturing there were 17 bankruptcies per 1,000 companies, whereas there were 3 bankruptcies per 1,000 in education, health care, environment and other services.

More older enterprises bankrupt

Some 40 percent of the enterprises and institutions that went bankrupt in 2003 had existed for less than five years. In 2001 this was 48 percent. About 35 percent of the bankrupt enterprises had existed more than ten years. Their share has increased by 7 percentage points since 2001.

Regional differences

An increase in the number of bankruptcies was observed in all provinces. Almost half of the total number of bankruptcies occurred in the provinces North and South Holland and Utrecht. Relatively large increases were registered in Groningen, Drenthe, Flevoland and Limburg.

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