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. Why do women live longer than men in the present and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we’re only able to provide partial answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, علامات الحمل بولد however, we do not know how strong the relative contribution to each of these variables is.
In spite of the precise weight, we know that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men and not in the past, has to have to do with the fact that certain fundamental non-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, علامات الحمل بولد 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 ; which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1
This graph shows that although women have an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.
The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries than it is today.
Let’s take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two distinct points stand out.
The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in America live longer than they were 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 life expectancy used be very small however, it has increased significantly in the past century.
You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the “Change country” option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.