More Italians are marrying foreigners

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11:36 CET+01:00
Marriages between Italians and foreigners are fuelling a rise in weddings in Italy, according to figures from Istat, the national statistics agency.

In 2012, there were 30,724 weddings between an Italian and a foreigner, an increase of 4,000 from the previous year. The figure represents 15 percent of a total 207,138 marriages that place in Italy in 2012, a rise of 2,308 from 2011.

The majority of weddings between an Italian and a foreigner took place in northern and central Italy, where one in five married couples include a foreign spouse.

There were also more civil ceremonies in 2012 (84,841) compared to 2011 (80,341), mainly among couples getting married for the second or third time.

But there was also a 5.7 percent rise in the number of first marriages taking place outside of the church between 2008 and 2012.

People are also marrying later in life compared to the seventies, with the average age of a groom being 34 and 31 for a bride.

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The marriage rate has been steady declining since 1972, falling an average 1.2 percent until 2007 and 4.8 percent between that year and 2011. 

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