As Many As 40% Of Gen Z & Millennial Women Are Hoping To Become DINKs Later In Life, Instead Of Achieving The Outdated ‘American Dream’

Is twice the money and none of the kids the new American Dream? It is in this economy.

DINK couple on vacation Kaspars Grinvalds / Canva Pro

Ah, the American Dream. A nice house in the burbs with a picket fence, two darling children, maybe a dog, and happily ever after. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL AS IF.

That hasn't been a reality for most of us for years now, and as a new study shows, it's impacting young people's life plans at a never-before-seen rate.

As many as 40% of Gen Z and millennial women want to be DINKs instead of moms.

Nowadays, the DINK life is more like the American Dream than anything else. An acronym for "Dual Income No Kids," the whole twice the salary, none of the kids DINK lifestyle is looking pretty tempting given how punishing our economy has become.


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Intuit Credit Karma did a study on the matter, and the results are pretty revealing about the way times have changed, how the economy is fueling enormous societal shifts, and how it shuts all but the wealthiest out of a normal life.


Nearly half of young women are not following the usual timeline for having kids, and huge proportions plan to skip kids altogether.

Women have been delaying childbearing for decades now, opting to focus on career goals instead. But Intuit Credit Karma's study shows that those choosing to do so are now creeping toward the majority.

A full 45% of millennial women said they were not following the traditional societal path of marriage, then homeownership, then having kids. And their Gen Z younger sisters are following in their footsteps — 41% said they won't be following this path either, and nearly a third say they have no intention of having kids at all.

Things have been trending this way for decades — married, childless households increased by 140% from 1960 to 2022 according to Census Bureau statistics, and recently we've seen how this is starting to play out: Birth rates are plummeting worldwide, with the US's the lowest it's been in a century. (This is part of why the whole "tradwife" propaganda trend has become so popular, but that's a whole other article.)


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Women say that it is the economy driving these changes — having children just isn't affordable anymore.

More than a quarter of the women Intuit Credit Karma spoke to said they are focusing on developing their careers before they even consider child-rearing — if they're considering it at all — and financial concerns were the main reason why.

For the millennial women who told Credit Karma they didn’t want children, money was often a significant factor: 40% of that group said they simply couldn't afford to have children, with 35% of Gen Zers planning to be DINKs saying the same thing.


And for others, it's the staggering cost of things like fertility treatments making them choose a different life path — nearly a third of millennials said such procedures, along with adoption and surrogacy, are simply too expensive to even be on their radar.

One of the leaders of Intuit Credit Karma's study Courtney Alev cast these trends as part of the overall way that millennials have changed societal norms and culture, and that's surely part of it — they've done pretty much everything differently than their forebears since hitting adulthood, and movements like "child-free by choice" have made choosing not to have kids more socially acceptable than ever. 

But it's impossible to ignore that the reasons they and Gen Z women cite are all about the economy. It turns out that when you consolidate wealth and affordable access to everything from housing to child care and even groceries solely in the hands of the already wealthy, it changes everything — and takes the American Dream down with it.


It makes you wonder if a stable economy would have seen a millennial and Gen Z generation focused on a more traditional life path — and whether such a path will ever be accessible again. Time will tell.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.