The UK's worst bankruptcy hotspots revealed

Empty purse in hands. Isolated on a white background.

People who live in coastal cities and towns are more likely to go bankrupt than those who live inland, according to a new report.

The analysis, which shows that seaside towns account for the five worst places in Britain for personal bankruptcies, as well as 21 of the worst 50, is based on figures from 2012.

The highest numbers were in Torbay, Devon, with 54 new cases of insolvency per 10,000 population, compared with a national average of 25.

The town was followed by the Rhyl and Prestatyn area in north Wales, with 53; Scarborough and Blackpool, with 48; and Hull, with 44.

Other coastal areas featuring prominently included Runcorn and Widnes, Cheshire, in eighth place and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 10th.

Anthony Cork, a partner at accountant Wilkins Kennedy, which published the report, told the Guardian: "Many of our coastal towns have been suffering a slow decline for many years, as tourism struggles to compete with cheap overseas travel, fishing quotas are slashed and other maritime industry has all but died off.

"The recession has hit hard despite the temptation for more people to stay and holiday in the UK instead of going abroad."

Coastal towns are not the only places where large numbers of people are being forced into bankruptcy. Stoke-on-Trent and Tamworth, in Staffordshire, and Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire, were also among the areas with the highest insolvency rates (see below for a list of the top 25).

And separate figures from the Insolvency Service indicate that personal insolvencies are rising across England and Wales, with 4% more people being forced to use a serious debt solution now than at the start of 2013.

According to the Telegraph, there were 26,030 individual insolvencies in the third quarter, up from 25,717 in the second quarter and 25,016 in the first - when personal insolvencies reached a five-year low.

This increase was driven by a rise in the number of individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) taken out by people who wanted to avoid bankruptcy, but were not in a position to manage their debts.

Seaside towns certainly seem to be among the worst hit, though, suggesting that the government's recently announced £29 million coastal communities fund is badly needed.

"Students and graduates with high levels of debt will find it hard to return to their home towns if they can't find a decent job, but unless young talent can be persuaded to stay, it's difficult for businesses to invest, creating a vicious cycle," Cork added.

Top 25 UK towns and cities by rate of insolvencies

The UK's bankruptcy hotspots by rate of insolvencies

The UK's bankruptcy hotspots by rate of insolvencies

Source: Wilkins Kennedy

The brokest towns in Britain

The brokest towns in Britain