Everywhere in the world women live longer than men – but this was not always the case. The available data from rich countries shows that women didn’t live longer than men in the 19th century. Why do women live so longer than men and how is this difference growing in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an absolute conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, افضل شامبو وبلسم biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we do not know how much the influence of each one of these factors is.
In spite of how much amount, we can say that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present but not in the past, has to be due to the fact that some significant non-biological elements have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. For example, there is evidence that in rich countries the female advantage increased in part because infectious diseases used to affect women disproportionately a century ago, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, ended up raising women’s longevity disproportionately.
Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. We can see that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for longer than her brothers.
This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.
The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in the richer countries than it is now.
Let’s look at how the female advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US during the period 1790 until 2014. Two distinct points stand out.
First, there’s an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
The gap is widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was quite small, it has increased substantially over time.
It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.