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 are more likely to live longer than men? And how the advantage has grown as time passes? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we have only some solutions. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than men, we don’t know what percentage each factor plays in.

We have learned that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. But this isn’t because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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 Www.xxx_www.itguyclaude.com/wiki/Why_Do_Women_Have_Longer_Lives_Than_Men 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 means that in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart shows that, although women have an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.



The advantage for women in life expectancy was smaller in rich countries that it is today.

We will now examine how the female advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US between 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there’s 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.

The gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once tiny, it has increased substantially over time.

You can check if these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.

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