230,613 marriages were celebrated in Italy in 2009 and just over 217,000 in 2010 (provisional data), equalling 3.6 marriages for every 1,000 inhabitants.
In just two years almost 30,000 fewer marriages were recorded: in 2008 the total was 246,613, or 4.1 for every 1,000 inhabitants.
The downward trend in marriages has been underway since 1972. However, in the two-year period 2009-2010 the decline was particularly marked, with the average annual decrease in fact reaching -6%, a decidedly higher figure than the average -1.2% recorded over the last 20 years.
The decrease in the number of marriages in the two-year period 2009-2010 concerned all areas of the country; of the major regions, those which saw the sharpest fall were Lazio (-9.4%), Lombardy (-8%), Tuscany (-6.7%), Piedmont and Campania (-6.4% in both cases).
Above all it was the number of first marriages between partners both with Italian citizenship which declined, with 175,043 marriages in 2009, 10,706 fewer compared with 2008; this difference alone accounts for the 67% decrease observed in the total number of marriages between the two years (-16,000).
A further 30% of the 2008-2009 decrease was due to marriages in which at least one of the two partners had foreign citizenship: 32,000 marriages were celebrated in 2009 (14% of total marriages), almost 5,000 fewer than in 2008. The 2010 data suggest a further contraction.
Of marriages in which one of the two partners was foreign, it was above all mixed marriages (in which one partner is Italian and the other foreign) that recorded the most marked reduction: over 21,000 marriages in 2009 (3,191 down on 2008).