Ten Facts About Italians and Their Relationships

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ISTAT, if you did not know, is Italy’s national statistics bureau and it’s always publishing lots of statistics all about Italy.

From ISTAT statistics one can understand how Italy compares to other nations around the world.

Recently, ISTAT has published information on life expectancy, birth rates, marriage and divorce levels in Italy.

Here are ten facts about Italy and Italians that you might find interesting:

1. Life expectancy in Italy is increasing. In 2013 Italian men lived for an average of 79.8 years while women lived on average until they are 86.4 years old.

2. The birth rate in Italy is falling, and has been doing so for the last 5 years.The average number of children per woman in Italy in 2013 was 1.39 compared to 1.42 in 2012.  The average age at which women gave birth was 31.5.  In the period 2008-2013, the birth rate for Italian mothers dropped from 1.34 to 1.27, while, for mothers not of Italian origin, the birth rate dropped considerably from 2.65 to 2.20 births per woman.

3. In 2013 in Italy less than 200,000 marriages occurred. The rate of 3.3 per thousand the lowest ever documented level in Italy’s history.

4. Religious marriage ceremonies down, civil unions up. From 2008 to 2013, the number of religious marriage ceremonies fell from 63% to 57%. On the other hand, in the same period, the number of civil marriages rose from 37% to 43%.

5. In Italy, church or religious marriages tend to last longer than civil unions: In 2012, out of every 1000 weddings, 933 religious weddings as opposed to 880 civil weddings survived to the so called “seven-year crisis”.

6. Marriages in Italy tend to end in separation after 16 years and in divorce after 19 years.

7. Italians tend to separate at 47 for husbands and 44 for wives. The age at which divorces occur in Italy is 49 for men and 46 respectively.

8. In 2012, 73.3% of separations and 66.2% of divorces involved couples with children.

9. Joint custody was awarded in 89.9% of separation agreements.  Joint custody has become much more common in Italy since 2006 when the law  concerning custody changed.

10. Immigration levels are is falling, whereas emigration is rising.


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