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 reason women live longer than men? Why has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn’t sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors which all play a part in the longevity of women over men, we do not know how much each one contributes.
In spite of the precise weight, we know that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men today however not as in the past, is to do with the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these changing factors? 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 every country is above the diagonal parity line , it means that in all nations that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a new boy.1
The chart above shows that the advantage of women is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women are 10 years older than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half each year.
The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in countries with higher incomes as compared to the present.
We will now examine how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart plots the male and female lifespans at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.
The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in America live longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
Second, Www.Xinyubi.Com/Index.Php/Why_Are_Women_Living_Longer_Than_Men the gap is widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was extremely small It has significantly increased with time.
If you select the option “Change country from the chart, you will be able to verify that these two points also apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.