Statistics Show: 3 in 10 Newlywed Pairs Embrace the DINK Lifestyle

A recent report from Statistics Korea unveiled a significant trend among newly married couples in South Korea: nearly 30 percent of couples married for less than five years are opting for a lifestyle characterized by both partners working and choosing not to have children, often referred to as “dual-income, no kids” or DINKs.

The report, based on data encompassing 815,357 such couples, indicated that 28.7 percent embraced the DINK lifestyle. This marks a notable surge of over 10 percentage points compared to statistics from 2015.

Several factors contribute to the increasing prevalence of the DINK lifestyle. Notably, greater female workforce participation, evolving societal attitudes accepting childlessness, and a trend of delaying parenthood contribute significantly to this shift.

The data segmented households into various categories: besides DINKs, there were dual-income households with children accounting for 28.5 percent, single-income households with children at 22.7 percent, and single-income households without children at 15.5 percent.

Interestingly, while DINK households are on the rise, the prevalence of dual-income households with children has diminished, dropping from 30 percent in 2018 to 28.5 percent in the latest data.

A pivotal shift occurred in 2021, marking the point where childless, dual-income households surpassed those with children, standing at 27.7 percent versus 24.3 percent.

The report also highlighted a positive societal perception of childlessness, particularly among individuals in their 20s and 30s. The proportion of this demographic holding favorable views toward DINK families surged from 27.7 percent in 2015 to 44.1 percent in 2020.

Moreover, the data indicated a trend of couples delaying parenthood. In 2012, only 5.3 percent of couples had their first child after five years of marriage. This figure more than doubled to 11.5 percent by last year, indicating a significant shift in family planning and lifestyle choices among newlyweds in South Korea.