Gender Gap in Life Expectancy in the South CaucasusCategory Health Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
Almost everywhere in the world, including the South Caucasus, women tend to live longer than men. This gender gap in life expectancy appears to be due to evolutionary and biological as well as behavioral and social factors. However, the research suggests that trends in the GGLE are dynamic and may also be driven by economic and social changes. Large gender gaps in lifespan are problematic for countries because they decrease the welfare of both men (via fewer years of retirement) and women (via longer years spent in widowhood or reduced income in later life).
In the South Caucasus, the lifespan of men and women alike had been rising since the 1990s, but the trends in GGLE have diverged. Georgia historically had a higher gender gap in life expectancy, and this trend was increasing over time. Similarly, although Armenia’s GGLE is lower than Georgia, an upward trend can be observed, and the country has been “catching up” with the Georgian GGLE over the last decade.
In this policy brief we provided certain key insights into why the GGLE may be higher in Georgia than in other South Caucasus countries, and why differences can be discerned between the GGLE in Georgia, Armenia, and in Azerbaijan.