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 why has this advantage increased in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; However, we’re not sure how significant the impact of each factor is.
In spite of the weight, we know that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men do today and not previously, has to relate to the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 شراء متابعين تيكتوك men and women. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line ; which means that in every country that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a new boy.1
This chart shows that, while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the gap is just half one year.
In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let’s now look at how the advantage of women in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows men and women’s life expectancies at birth in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.
The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
Second, the gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy used to be very small but it has risen significantly in the past.
It is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by selecting the “Change country” option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.