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Press release

Marriages, separations and divorces

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In 2015, there were 194,377 marriages in Italy, about 4,600 more than 2014. It was the most consistent increase since 2008. In the period 2008-2014, weddings declined by an average of almost 10 thousand per year.

The first marriage rates increased. In 2015 there were 429 first marriages per 1,000 men and 474 per 1,000 women (-20% compared to 2008 rates). The mean age at first marriage was 35 for men and 32 for women (that is nearly two years older compared to 2008).

33,579 second or subsequent marriages occurred in 2015, almost 3 thousand more than in 2014 (with an increase of 9%). Their proportion in all marriages reached 17%.

88 thousand civil ceremonies took place in 2015 and they accounted for 45.3% of all marriages in the same year. Civil weddings registered an increase of 8% compared to 2014 while religious ceremonies continued to decline. This increase was mainly due to second or subsequent marriages.

Marriages with at least one foreign spouse were about 24 thousand (12.4% of all 2015 weddings), 200 fewer than in 2014.

2015 data about marital disruption reflected the impact of recent changes in the regulations. In particular, the introduction of the so called “fast divorce Law” caused a considerable increase in the number of divorces (82,469 compared to 52,355 of the previous year with an increase of 57%). The growth in the number of legal separations was less relevant (91,706 with an increase equal to 2.7% compared to 2014).

The average length of marriages ending in legal separation was approximately 17 years. The proportion of long-term marriages ended in separation had almost doubled in the last two decades (from 11.3% of 1995 to 23.5% of 2015).

In 2015 the average age at legal separation was 48 for men and 45 for women. The largest age group was between 40 and 44 years for wives (18,631 separations, 20.3% of the total) while for husbands was that between 45 and 49 years (18,055, 19.7%).
The propensity to experience legal separation in religious marriages was stable over time and lower than in civil marriages. After ten years of marriage survivor religious weddings were almost the same for 1995 and 2005 marriage cohorts (respectively 911 and 914 per 1000 marriages) while survivor civil marriages were equal to 861 for 1995 marriage cohort and to 841 for 2005 one.

In 2015, 89% of separations with children in custody was with joint custody; only 8.9% was with custody exclusively to the mother. This was the only relevant result of the application of the Law 54/2006 that introduced the joint custody as the preferred model.

As regards economical provisions, the proportion of maintenance for children paid by father was stable over time (94% of separations with maintenance for children). There were therefore no clear signals of a real application of the provisions that give the possibility to implement a direct support for expense items of children to the detriment of the traditional periodical support.

INFOGRAPHIC. Marriages in Italy by age of spouses(clic to visualize the interactive infographic)Marriages in Italy by age of spouses - infographic

Reference period: Year 2015

Date of Issue: 14 November 2016



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