Marital and Reproductive Behavior in Italy after 1990: Bridging the Gap with Western Europe?

Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, University of Padua
Maria Castiglioni, Università di Padova

During 1980-95, Italy shared with most of developed countries, the increasing age at first marriage and the decreasing fertility. On the other hand, behaviors that questioned the centrality of marriage were hardly widespread: cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births did not increase nor did marital separation become common. Moreover, fertility decreased at the lowest level in the world. In this paper we discuss if these Italian “anomalies” are disappearing. Is Italy moving toward marital and reproductive models already quite widespread in most other developed countries? In particular, we observe if in Italy after 1990, cohabitation and marital separations became more pervasive and if the recent increase in fertility may be an indicator of more considerable future changes. The main result is that the gap is bridging, mainly if some northern and central regions of Italy are considered.

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Presented in Session 102: New Perspectives on Low Fertility