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 why women live longer than men? Why has this advantage gotten larger in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological, and environmental factors that all play a role in the longevity of women over men, we don’t know how much each factor contributes.
Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason women live so much longer than men and https://turneypedia.com/index.php/User:AlmaHaugen90 not in the past, is to do with the fact that several significant non-biological elements have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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 above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her older brother.
The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.
In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was smaller
Let’s look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.
First, there is an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was tiny but it has risen significantly over time.
You can verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.