ITALY: It used to be that when Italians got married, they meant it. Consequently, divorce rates in Italy used to be low to non-existent. And you can pretty give the credit to the Holy See. But a recent New York Times article sheds the light on remarkable change that has been taking place in the Italian marital institution over the last 35 years or so:
But how things change. Having a clown for a prime minister like Silvio Berlusconi sets a sterling example. Since his embarrassing antics — reportedly with Brazilian pole dancers, very young ladies, escort girls, etc. — it’s open season for divorce. While giving a tour of his bathroom to Jacques Chirac, himself no slouch in the womanizing department, Berlusconi once embarrassingly boasted of the astonishing number of buttocks that had perched on his bidet. NYT
But it’s not just Berlusconi who is the blame. Apparently, it is also the French. Says the Times:
“Because the whole concept of the Italian family has changed,” Rimini says, “a lot of people don’t bother getting married.” With a revolving door of wives, husbands, exes, new lovers and children all thrown together, traditional family life is now, well, very French.
Apparently, the Italians think they have a high divorce rate but when you really put it into context, the Italians are mere pups. Here are the Italian statistics according to the Times:
In 2008, according to the most recent statistics available, more than 84,000 of Italy’s 60 million residents were separated and about 54,000 divorced. Thirty years earlier, divorces did not exceed 12,000.
But just yesterday, we discussed the divorce numbers in China and it’s amusing when you put that in context with these numbers for Italy. Read the post here. I wonder how that would look graphically? I’m going to put this in a pie chart. Hold on….