More than 300 people a day entered in to personal insolvency arrangements during the first three months of the year - 4.7% down on the same period last year, according to the Insolvency Service.
The total for the quarter was 28,723 insolvencies in England and Wales.
Drilling down in to the data reveals 9,132 people went bankrupt - 27.2% down on last year - and 11,694 people entered individual voluntary arrangement s (IVA) - 8.1% up of last year.
Eight out of 10 bankruptcies were petitioned by the person in debt.
In general, the number of bankruptcies is falling, making up just under a third (31%) of the latest figures. In the first quarter of 2009, the figures were much higher, with 17,606 cases making up 86% of personal insolvencies.
Personal insolvency now runs at an average 1 in 372 people in England and Wales, a drop from the 1 in 366 recorded in the final three months of 2011 but still way above the 1 in 1600 average for the last 25 years.
Bankruptcies of the self-employed due to trading debts made up 22% of the total for the last quarter of 2011. Figures for 2012 are not yet available.
The Insolvency Service suggests this rise is more to do with a decreasing number of personal insolvencies and a static number of business bankruptcies rather than an increase in the number of self-employed going bust.
Recent surveys suggest around a fifth of the adult population of the UK - 10 million people - are in a constant struggle to manage debt, while another 2.5 million are in arrears on at least one loan. credit card or household bill.
Some insolvency professionals are predicting a recent court ruling that in some cases creditors can make a claim against unpaid pension funds will impact on insolvency figures. They say this may give some debtors an extra asset to settle their debts that was not available before.
<Tables attached from Insolvency Service>
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