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Press release

Marriages in Italy

In 2012, 207,138 marriages were celebrated in Italy (3.5 per 1,000 inhabitants), 2,308 more than in 2010. This slight increase is part of a downward trend in marriages that began in 1972 and in the 2008-2011 period resulted in over 45,000 marriages less (in relative terms -4.5% per years between 2007 and 2011, a value much higher than the average of -1.2% recorded over the past 20 years).

The rise of the weddings compared to 2011 is due to the recovery of marriages in which at least one of the two spouses is a foreign citizen: in 2012, 30,724 weddings with at least one foreign spouse were celebrated (15% of the total), over 4 thousand more than in 2011, but still lower than 6,000 compared to the peak of 2008.

Mixed marriages in which one partner is Italian and the other is a foreigner represent the prevalent typology (68% of marriages with at least a foreign spouse) and amounted to 20,764 in 2012.

The first weddings for couples with both Italian citizens are still sharply decreasing, with 153,311 ceremonies in 2012, approximately 39,000 fewer in the last five years; this difference accounts for 91% of the total fall in marriages between 2008 and 2012.

The second marriages, in continuous growth in the last 20 years, pass from 34,137 in 2008 to 32,555 in 2012, but their share is on the rise: from 13.8% in 2008 to 15.7% in 2012.

People are marrying increasingly late. The average age for a first wedding is 34 for men and 31 for women.

In 2012, 122,297 weddings followed a religious ceremony, 33,000 fewer in the last 4 years. The civil weddings, on the other side, have seen a recovery in the last two years: 5,340 ceremonies that represent 41% of the total. In the North, civil marriages (53.4%) exceed religious marriages and in the Centre they are now one in two (49.4%).

The rise of civil marriages increasingly affects also the first weddings of Italian couples. which passed from 18.8% in 2008 to 24.5% in 2012.

Marriages that follow a separation of property regime (more than two out of three) is still confirmed and there are no longer significant differences between the geographical areas.

Reference period: Year 2012

Date of Issue: 13 November 2013

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Statistics on demographic structure and dynamics
Giancarlo Gualtieri
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gualtieri@istat.it

Antonella Guarneri
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guarneri@istat.it

Sabrina Prati
ph. +39 06 4673.7337
prati@istat.it

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