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 have a longer life span than men? Why the advantage has grown over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn’t sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know how much the influence of each of these factors is.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least part of the reason women live longer than men but not in the past, is to be due to the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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. As you can see, Packetlogistics.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=glorynote.com all countries are above the diagonal parity line – which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This graph shows that although there is a women’s advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men. In Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.



The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries that it is today.

Let’s examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two areas stand out.

First, there’s an upward trend: Men and women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is widening: While the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was tiny It has significantly increased in the past.

Using the option ‘Change country from the chart, you are able to verify that these two points apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.

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