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 much longer than men today and why is this difference growing in the past? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we’re only able to provide some answers. We know there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than males, we aren’t sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.
In spite of how much weight, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live so much longer than men today but not previously, is to be due to the fact that several important non-biological aspects have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. 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 line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her younger brother.
This graph shows that even though women enjoy an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.
In wealthy countries, the women’s advantage in longevity was smaller
Let’s examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart shows male and تزويد مشاهدات يوتيوب female life expectancies when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.
The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in the US are living much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was very small but it has risen significantly over time.
You can verify that the points you’ve listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the “Change country” option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.