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 main reason women live longer than men? And how is this difference growing as time passes? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support an informed conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, but we don’t know exactly how significant the impact to each of these variables is.
We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. However, this is not because of certain biological factors have changed. These factors 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. It is clear that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can be expected to live for Wiki.horst-otto-fanclub.eu/index.php?title=Benutzer:BoyceGilbreath longer than her younger brother.
The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.
The advantage of women in life expectancy was less in rich countries than it is now.
Let’s look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.
First, there is an upward trend: Men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century 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 small however, it has increased significantly in the past century.
Using the option ‘Change country’ on the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points are applicable to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.