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? Why the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we only have some solutions. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know what the contribution of each of these factors is.
In spite of how much amount, we can say that at a minimum, the reason why women live longer than men today, but not in the past, has to be due to the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects 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 http://glorynote.com/بشرة/ (visit my webpage)/بشرة/ (visit my webpage) 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 above the diagonal parity line – which means that in every country the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a newborn boy.1
This chart shows that, although there is a women’s advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half one year.
In countries with high incomes, the women’s advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let’s take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies at the time of birth in the US between 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.
There is an upward trend. Men 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.
Second, the gap is widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was quite small It has significantly increased in the past.
You can verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.