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 makes women live longer than men and why does this benefit increase over time? The evidence is limited and we only have limited answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; However, we’re not sure how much the influence of each of these factors is.
In spite of how much amount, we can say that at least part of the reason women live longer than men, but not in the past, is to have to do with the fact that some significant non-biological elements have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complicated. 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 every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from any country can expect to live longer than her older brother.
This graph shows that although there is a women’s advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.
The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries than it is today.
Let’s look at how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two distinct points stand out.
There is an upward trend. and women in the US live much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
And Dellishell.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=glorynote.com%2F%25D8%25A7%25D9%2581%25D8%25B6%25D9%2584-%25D9%2583%25D8%25B1%25D9%258A%25D9%2585-%25D9%2584%25D9%2584%25D8%25B4%25D8%25B9%25D8%25B1%2F second, there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.
By selecting ‘Change Country’ on the chart, determine if these two points are applicable to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.