There used to be a time when life’s standard aim was to fall in love, get married, and then of course have a few kids to carry on your legacy as small versions of yourself or maybe do it because everyone else was doing it. All these things, about kids mainly, went on for decades and decades; however, the urge to have kids has lowered now.
Around 44% of people between the age of 18 to 49 say that they are unlikely to bring their kids someday, per a poll conducted by Pew Research Center in 2021. There was a rise in number from 37% in 2018. A massive decline in 2018 was noticed in birth rates in 32 years and a record low in total fertility rates, per CNN.
A few primary reasons for the decline in birth rates vary from the expenses involved in having kids to the fact that people started feeling fulfilment in other things not associated with parenthood.
Insider gets a statement from an associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University, Christine Percheski, stating that it is about women having easy access to education and employment opportunities. It is about the rise in individualism. It’s also about the rise in women’s autonomy and a change in values.
Nonetheless, the reason why a couple might not consider having kids, this trend has given rise to DINKs.
What is a DINK?
DINK stands for “dual income, no kids,” according to Yahoo! Finance. That is where a couple, regardless if they are married or not, lives together, has two paying jobs, prefers to live without children, and, in several cases, has no plans to have children. The DINK lifestyle appeals to those couples who want a life that’s fully their own, financially and otherwise.
At least $17,000 costs to raise a child yearly in the United States, as per the Washington Post, as of October 2022. That is about $310,605 for 18 years, excluding wallet-breaking things like college tuition fees.
Kids and a hefty price tag come together, making the couple think before committing to this long-term plan. They instead prefer focusing on themselves by living their life to the fullest on their terms.
A behavioral health specialist, Larry Ford, DBH, LBHP, BC, tells Katie Couric that with so much going wrong in the world, a patient who chooses not to have children is considering the current news and future outcomes for the world. He also says that, in general, people and specifically individuals suffering from behavioral health issues may feel a lack of control over what is happening around them, like in their community, country, and world. Thus, not having children is an intentional decision as they have control over it which can be achieved.
The world population, by 2030, is expected to increase from 8 billion to 8.5 billion, according to the United Nations. However, by 2050, it may go up to 10 billion; within 20 to 30 years, a few countries may become uninhabitable because of climate change.
Benefits of DINK
There are almost zero disadvantages to having a DINK lifestyle. If a couple chooses to have no kids, they will surely not regret it in the future as there are no cons to this lifestyle.
The founder of Childfree Wealth, Jay Zigmont, Ph.D., CFP, tells PopSugar that his clients being DINKs means they have more options. He continues saying that it’s a common sight of clients supporting each other and taking sabbaticals to find themselves. In addition, in DINK couples, the goals are flexible, and it is common for them to change dramatically or even in a year.
The ever-changing world doesn’t make a family look like it used to, which is not wrong. However, DINKs are avoiding the fact that declining birth rates will ultimately lead to lesser people in the workforce and a population filled with older people. Instead, they only focus on themselves and what’s right or wrong for them. No one must increase the birth rate, and DINKs couples will realize that and are living the best lives despite what society tells them to do.