The Rise of the DINK

If you live in an American city and stop to look around you will see something unique. Couples without children everywhere. It feels like the entire economy caters just to them. Restaurants. Travel. Experiences. Products.

This phenomenon is startling. The DINKs—Double Income No Kids—have crystallized into the core of our cultural blueprint. They're the couples, dual earners, deliberately sidestepping parenthood. Perhaps you're one of them, or your circles ripple with their presence. Their numbers are swelling. By the year 2022, childless households in the U.S. hit 43%, a jump from 36% a decade earlier. It's a surge pushing toward 50%. Advertisers salivate, targeting this burgeoning demographic, a ripple effect of the pervasive baby bust.

You can glimpse their lifestyle on TikTok. They range in ages. From 20 years olds.


In our DINK era 💅 #dinks

to 30 year olds


#weredinks were dinks we get to potentially offend all our friends and family with kids 🙈😂 #dinks duel income no kids #kidfree #dinklife #... See more

They manage to trigger a lot of people now that they are a significant faction of society.

DINKs are not a money issue. These people can afford children. In fact, DINKs tend to be richer than the average American. There is something else happening that is causing this new phenomenon.

I think our environment has quietly shifted and DINKs are a predictable side effect, a response to our new way of life. A similar shift has happened before.

From The Extended Family to the Nuclear Family to DiNKS

Before the 20th century and throughout history, we mostly grouped ourselves together in extended families. Parents, kids, grandparents, and even cousins or aunts/uncles. This was what a household meant.

This formation still exists in many societies, including the United States among immigrants, or Asians or Hispanics. It hasn’t completely gone away. It will never go away. It just got eclipsed by a new familial arrangement.

This multi-generational extended family household was the norm for thousands of years. But that changed about a hundred years ago. We shifted to nuclear families. Why?

Industrialization pulled waves of people into cities hunting for jobs, cutting the cords with rural, extended family networks. Urban migration favored smaller, more financially and logistically manageable nuclear families. Economic shifts made compact family units more practical.

Meanwhile, the rise of individualism in Western cultures championed personal fulfillment, bolstering the nuclear family model that prioritizes the needs of immediate family members. Post-World War II policies across many countries pushed for home ownership and suburban life, further cementing this structure.

Now we are entering a new age. The environment has shifted again.

In This Newsletter

1) Our New Environment. DINKS exist because our environment makes sense for the DINKs to exist. What does that mean?

2) Are DINKs Lindy? The First recorded DINK was in the Odyssey by Homer. The tale of Calypso and Odysseus. An early warning about the DINKs.

3) The Problem with Modern Parenting. DINKs are a reaction against modern parenting. Parenting has undergone a significant transformation compared to just a few decades ago. Today, the parenting style requires maximum involvement from parents is relatively new and differs markedly from earlier generations.

Our New Environment

Subscribe to Premium Membership to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of Premium Membership to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In