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 longer than men in the present, and why has this advantage increased over time? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we only have partial solutions. Although we know that there are behavioral, العاب زوجية biological and environmental variables that all play a role in women’s longevity more than males, it isn’t clear how much each factor contributes.
It is known that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. But this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? 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 over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could expect to live longer than her younger brother.
Interestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half one year.
The advantage for women in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let’s look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the time of birth in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two things stand out.
First, there is an upward trend. Men and women living in America are living longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
There is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.
If you select the option «Change country in the chart, you are able to confirm that the two points are applicable to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.