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. What is the reason women live longer than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger in the past? The evidence is limited and we’re left with only limited answers. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know how strong the relative contribution to each of these variables is.
We are aware that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. But, this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. 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 above the diagonal line of parity — this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1
This chart illustrates that, even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is less than half one year.
In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let’s see how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.
First, there is an upward trend. Men and Forthebestdeal.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=glorynote.com%2F%25d9%2588%25d8%25b5%25d9%2581%25d8%25a7%25d8%25aa-%25d8%25b7%25d8%25a8%25d8%25ae%2F women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
The gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once tiny, it has increased substantially over time.
When you click on the option «Change country by country’ in the chart, you can check that these two points apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.