DINK has been popular since the ’80s to describe couples with Dual Incomes, but No Kids. A reader recently suggested another acronym : THINK. Two Healthy Incomes, No Kids. A slight distinction, but an important one, especially in Mexico where child-free couples are on the rise…and buying really nice things.
At the end of 2012, there were more than a million Mexican THINKers, almost twice as many as in 2005. What caused the flip? The familiar culprit with global fingerprints: access to higher education. The eye-opener that raises a woman’s standards for dating, career and what she expects of her life.
In today’s Mexico, women are almost as well educated as men. Fifty years ago, only 0.5% of Mexican women earned a university degree. By 2010, the number had jumped to almost 16%, a fraction behind male peers.
A 27-year old woman from Mexico City told Reuters, “Of course there are stigmas. Here in Mexico, women are supposed to leave their homes in white to get married as virgins.”
Just 3-4% of Mexico’s households are DINKs, THINKers, (whatever), compared with 4.5% childless households in Brazil, 14% in the U.S. and 17.6% in the U.K. Even so, it’s a mighty influential 4% because it’s credited with boosting Mexico’s luxury goods market from $2.16 billion in 2004 to $3.88 billion last year. Designer apparel, luxury accessories and fine wines were never an option for these women’s mothers, so the time to enjoy life is now.
Speaking of mothers, analysts are using verbs like plunged to describe what’s happened to the Mexican birth rate, estimated to be 2.2 babies per woman in 2013 compared with 5.7 babies in 1976. That ain’t no typo: an average of 5.7 babies per woman.
In the midst of breaking tradition, bypassing or delaying motherhood to go shopping at the Apple Store and Jimmy Choos. A 2008 study found that seven out of 10 Mexican women in modern DINK relationships say they do want to have children…eventually. Of course, that can be a hazard, too, undiscovered until it’s too late. Meanwhile, update your perceptions of Mexican women, because they’re not all Moms, either.