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’s the main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? And why is this difference growing over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological, and environmental factors which all play a part in women living longer than men, we don’t know how much each factor contributes.
It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But this is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues 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 diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for longer than her brother.
This graph shows that although there is a women’s advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia, women live for افضل كريم للشعر 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.
In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let’s examine how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.
First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
Second, there’s an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be very small but it increased substantially over the last century.
You can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the “Change country” option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.