'I don't': fewer Italians are getting hitched

Share this article

Marriages in Italy fell by 4,300 between 2013 and 2014. Photo: Alberta Pizzoli/APP
09:25 CET+01:00
Italy may be a country famed for its family values but fewer Italians are getting married.

And those who do so increasingly end up separated, according to the latest figures from Istat, the national statistics agency.

In 2014, there were 189,765 marriages in Italy - 4,300 less than in 2013 and the biggest year-on-year decrease since 2008. 

And if people do get married, they are increasingly shunning the church: across Italy's less pious centre-north, 55 percent of all newlyweds declared their eternal love in civil ceremonies.

Istat suggested that the main driver behind the decreasing number of marriages was population demographics and not the oft-heralded decay of Italy's social fabric.

With only 11 million Italians currently in the 16-34 age bracket, there are fewer people of marrying age, argued the statistics agency, highlighting a sharp drop in fertility which occurred across Italy during the 1970s.

So as the number of marriages continues to fall, the average age for newlyweds has risen.

The average age for an Italian women to say 'I do' is 31, while for men it's 34 – a figure which has risen by one year since 2008.

Meanwhile, the number of marriages ending in separation rose again in 2014, when more than one in three couples split.

As the graph below shows, the number of marriages ending in separation has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Yet as the rate of separation rose in 2014 , Italy's relatively stable rate of divorce actually fell.

Story continues below…

Graph: Istat

The report stated that marriages ending in legal separation had lasted an average of 16 years. 

Istat highlighted the growing number of people in their 60s who are choosing to separate, a group which now represents 7.5 percent of all separations in Italy.

Share this article

From our sponsors

Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections

Election Day in the U.S. is less than a month away, and time is running out for Americans living overseas to vote absentee. Here's what to do before it’s too late.


Popular articles