ROME, July 8 (UPI) -- Italy's divorce rate is continuing its steady increase, the national statistics agency says.
Istat reported Thursday that 54,456 couples filed for divorce and another 85,945 legally separated in 2009, increasing by 0.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, from 2008, ANSA said.
The figures did show a slowing of the trend, however, since divorces rose 7.3 percent and separations 3.4 percent from 2007 to 2008.
In 1995, for every 1,000 marriages registered, 158 couples separated and 80 divorced.
In 2009, there were 297 separations and 181 divorces per 1,000 marriages. Divorce was illegal in Italy until the 1970s.