Predictors of the gender gap in life expectancy across 54 nations.

Research paper by Tina L TL Rochelle, Doris K Y DK Yeung, Michael Harris MH Bond, Liman Man Wai LM Li

Indexed on: 10 Jul '14Published on: 10 Jul '14Published in: Psychology, health & medicine


We studied the gender gap in life expectancy (GGLE), which currently favours women on average by 5 years. Individual data from 54 societies were extracted from the 1999-2004 wave of the World Values Survey. The GGLE was not predicted by the socio-economic factors of gross domestic product (GDP) or Gini coefficient, but was increased by national level of alcohol consumption, and decreased by gender differences in national levels of life satisfaction. Different national-level phenomena appear to be responsible for male and female contributions to the GGLE. National levels of male longevity were responsive to GDP, Gini coefficient, social engagement, tobacco use and life satisfaction, whereas female longevity rates were responsive only to GDP and alcohol consumption, underscoring the greater sensitivity of male longevity to contextual features of the nations where they live.