More Education Means Longer Engagements

ROME, DEC. 14, 2000 (

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The more educated the woman, the longer is her engagement before marriage, a new study in Italy indicates.

The Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) surveyed a total of 60,000 individuals in 1998. It found that the average period of engagement for women with degrees or diplomas, married after 1987, was five years, compared with three years for women with only primary school education.

And the most common place to find a spouse? Before 1958, 23.3% of married women met their husbands in the neighborhood, 18% at relatives´ homes, and 17% at town parties.

For women married after 1987 (especially in north-central regions), the favorite venues have been friends´ parties (14.6%), discos (9.9%), vacation spots (8.7%) and universities (6.7%).

In the south, on the contrary, the number of married women who met their husbands at the home of relatives or friends is still significant (24%), while for 20% the decisive meeting took place on the street (as compared with 10% in north-central regions).

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