Is it true that women live longer than men?

Though the health of both men and women has greatly improved throughout the world, that progress has benefited women more than men. In industrialized countries the gap in life expectancy widened until the 1970s. Men’s lag was due in part to dangerous occupations, higher alcohol and tobacco consumption levels than women, and higher risk for road accidents. Men had also been found to consult doctors less regularly. 

However, in the last few decades, the gaps have been narrowing. 

In France, after culminating at 8.2 years in the 1980s, the gap in favor of women stood at 5.9 years in 2022 as men’s life expectancy improved more quickly than women’s. In parallel, health in old age across the board has been improving. And while men’s life expectancy beyond age 65 is shorter than women’s (respectively 19.2 and 23.1 years), men have benefited more than women from that overall improvement. Currently, people live more than half of their lives after age 65 without disabilities, and the proportion of that “healthy life expectancy” period is slightly greater for men than for women (respectively 59.3% and 54.4%).  Fifteen years ago, men aged 65 could expect to live 48% of the rest of their lives free of disability, while for women the figure was 44%. 


Update: March 2023