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Italian statistics show half of marriages fail, birth rate continues decline

Catholic World News - December 20, 2013

Roughly half of all new marriages in Italy fail, according to new statistics. And the birth rate among Italian women is sinking further below the replacement rate.

The statistical agency Istat reports that of every 1,000 marriages, 312 end in legal separation, and 182 in divorce.

The statistics show the birth rate at 1.39 per woman, down slightly from 1.41 in 2010. That rate is among the lowest birth rates in Europe. The average Italian mother has her first child when she is 31.4 years old. Only in Ireland and Spain are first-time mothers older.

Of the weddings in Italy last year, slightly more than half—59%-- were church ceremonies.

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