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? What is the reason has this advantage gotten larger in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn’t sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors which all play a part in women’s longevity more than males, it isn’t clear how much each one contributes.
We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn’t due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and Lx.ahjxc.xyz/home.php?mod=space&uid=515903&do=profile&from=space 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. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her brother.
The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.
The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in rich countries as compared to the present.
We will now examine the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the men and women’s life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.
The first is that there is an upward trend. and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.
Second, there’s an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.
Using the option ‘Change country from the chart, you will be able to confirm that the two points also apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.