35 Maps That Show How Different Men and Women Really Are
Comedians have told enough “battle of the sexes” jokes to fill volumes. Some are funny, to be sure, but the significant differences between men and women around the world are not always a laughing matter. Being better educated about the health, wealth and schooling differences between the genders is important, especially as both gender and location can determine everything from your likelihood to smoke, how long you’ll go to school and even your chances of becoming a billionaire.
These maps highlight just how significant the differences between men and women really are — and how to better navigate them.
Global Gender Gap Index
Let’s start with a general look at the Global Gender Gap Index, which was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to show the magnitude of gender-based disparities. This map is from the 2018 report and highlights 149 countries, rating them on a scale of 0 to 1, with 0 being an imparity (having no equality) and 1 having complete equality.
Since tracking began in 2006, the average distance completed to parity is at 68 percent. Projecting current trends into the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 108 years across the 106 countries that were initially covered in the report's first edition. What country is the most gender-equal to date? The answer is Iceland, having closed over 86 percent of its gender gap.
Women across the world live longer than men on average, but where do women outlive men the longest? Believe it or not, it’s Russia, where women sometimes outlive their male counterparts for up to a decade. (Maybe it’s the vodka?) In parts of Africa and India, life expectancies seem to be much more even with a difference of only three or fewer years.
That said, recent research has shown that this gap may be closing, and by the year 2032, men are expected to live as long as women, with both sexes living an average of 87.5 years. The reasoning? There are many factors, but a fall in tobacco and alcohol consumption has greatly benefitted men.
Sex Ratio at Birth
While the life expectancy tends to be higher for women, did you know that, on average, more men are born each year? This map from Our World in Data shows the number of male births for every 100 female births.
That means that in every country in the world more boys are born than girls. While the sex ratio at conception is equal, studies show that a male is slightly more likely to survive all stages of pregnancy.
Sex Ratio at Five Years Old
Females do, however, have a slightly greater chance of surviving the first five years of life. While there are several reasons — including the fact that boys suffer more nutritional deficiencies, birth defects and preterm births — boys still outnumber girls in childhood.
That's not the case for every country though. This map from Our World in Data shows that in some countries, especially in Africa, young girls do start to outnumber boys.
Where Women Outnumber Men
Despite the fact that men outnumber women across the globe, there are several countries where women outnumber men — by a lot. For example, this map from the Pew Research Center shows that the small island of Martinique has the fewest men for every 100 women (only 84.5).
However, in the United Arab Emirates, there’s almost three times the amount of men than women — or 274 for every 100 women to be exact.
In many nations around the world, women retire much earlier than men, and this map shows the average difference in years.
Countries like Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates have no difference at all, but Iran has a gender gap of 10 years, with women retiring at 55 and men at 65. As people continue to live longer, though, it’s likely that retirement ages worldwide will only increase.
Facebook Use Worldwide
A study from the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that women tend to be greater users of Facebook than men, but there are more males users in most of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia (indicated by redder colors).
The study posited that those countries with more male Facebook users tend to, unsurprisingly, have more men than women. However, many of those same countries tend to have fewer opportunities for women in general — thus not as many opportunities for them to connect on and use social media in the first place.
GSMA recently described Africa as the “promised land” for female entrepreneurship, as 24 percent of African women are starting their own businesses, adding an estimated $200 billion to the economy.
But despite such gains, the figures of women-owned and -started businesses remain incredibly small compared to those begun by men.
Male and Female Billionaires
Insider reports that for every one of the world’s female billionaires, there are 8.4 males in that rather exclusive club. Only one country in the world, Angola (in red), has a single female billionaire, which earns it the dubious dishonor of having the worst ratio in the world.
Europe boasts the most female billionaires by region, with Germany leading the pack at 26. However, the United States has the most female billionaires of any country at 73.
These maps highlight the percentage of tobacco smoking across the globe, which appears to be a rather male-oriented habit, especially in all of the nations of the former Soviet Union, much of Asia and parts of the Middle East.
The portion of the female population that smokes regularly is significantly less worldwide, but there are areas of Europe and South America where it remains rather common.
Environmental Work Group compiled data on the most common cancers that affect men and women around the world. Breast cancer remains women’s most common cancer, but in China, the most deadly for women seems to be lung cancer.
Prostate cancer is the one men need to worry about in the West, but lung cancer remains another primary affliction in Russia and China — almost certainly connected to both cultures’ fondness for cigarettes.
Radiation Dosing in Cardiology by Gender
Yes, we all know that too much radiation is bad for us, but in modern medicine, its use is crucial for diagnosis and treatment.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that, worldwide, only a small difference between the amount of radiation doses from nuclear cardiology procedures was observed between men and women.
Church attendance has been on a downward trend, but the Pew Research Center says that the decline isn’t as significant for women as it is for men.
In fact, the think tank says that there are no countries anywhere in the world where male religious affiliation outranks women by “more than 2 percentage points.”
The Middle East and North Africa tend to be the worst places in the world when it comes to women’s ability to worship freely, as this map from the World Economic Forum shows all too clearly.
Saudi Arabia — which only recently began allowing women to drive cars — was one of the worst offenders, but the gender disparity on religious freedom was even more pronounced in Iran, Syria, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen. Even Japan appears red in this map.
Even though women are more likely worldwide to be diagnosed with depression and to attempt suicide, men are more than three times likely to complete the act.
The reasoning? The BBC reports that male suicide methods are often more violent, thus making it more difficult for people to intervene in time.
Age Difference at First Marriage
In much of the world, the age difference between a man and a woman for a first marriage tends to be four years or less. As this map shows, the difference in age increases significantly in India and much of sub-Saharan Africa.
A few countries in Africa have an even bigger age gap, with some first marriages showing a difference in age of nearly a decade — almost certainly of an older man and a younger woman.
Worldwide Education Gap
This rather creative map from Views of the World shows where in the world women and men are more equally educated.
The largest disparities appear in Africa, the Middle East and even parts of Southeast Asia. North and South America seem to be doing better on this metric overall.
Gender Pay Gap in Developed Nations
While a great deal of effort has been made on closing the pay gap between men and women, much still needs to be done, as this data from the makes obvious.
Defined as the difference between what men and women earn “as a percentage of male earnings,” the graphic shows that the disparity in pay is highest in East Asian countries like South Korea and Japan.
Canadian Wage Gap
The Canadian Union of Public Employees found that female workers in the Great White North face a wage gap versus their male counterparts.
Westernmost British Columbia fares the worst, with not only the largest wage gap but also the slowest improvement.
European Wage Gap
Yes, the problem is global, even in more forward-thinking Europe. This map uses stats from a 2015 Eurostat report and shows that the countries in red have a higher degree of difference between what men and women earn in each country.
The issue is most pronounced in Central Europe, with Germany showing that women’s gross hourly earnings are 21.6 percent less than those for men in the same country.
Wage Gap by State
While in the U.S. the wage gap averages about 17.9 percent, some states are fairer than others.
This map from the American Association of Women highlights the 2018 state pay gaps rounded to the nearest whole percentage, showing the states with the higher (and therefore better) percentages as darker. It looks like women should move to California, New York or Maryland if they want the fairest salaries around.
Where There Are More Women Than Men in the U.S.
Gender was an undeniable factor in the 2016 presidential election, with many sociologists trying to figure out why the vote went the way it did. But even before the election in 2015, outlets like The Washington Post tried to determine how the vote might go if gender were the only factor that counted.
This map from the U.S. Census Bureau calculates the sex ratio as the number of males per 100 females, showing the blue areas as more predominantly male. (Just check out Alaska.)
Differences in U.S. Voting
Nate Silver, the editor of FiveThirtyEight, published two maps in 2016 showing which gender would win which state — if the opposite sex didn’t vote.
While speculation can never really “prove” anything, the basic premise of Silver’s maps is that, while deep-red states like Idaho, Utah and Alabama would still trend Republican with just women voting, more states could have conceivably gone for Hillary Clinton in 2016 if men had stayed home.
Where American Women Are More Educated
According to Headlight Data, American women as a whole are now better educated than men, but that doesn’t hold true for urban areas. In fact, only one-third of the 53 largest metro areas have a greater percentage of educated women than men.
The story is different when it comes to “mid-sized” metro areas — such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Portland, Maine — where women have more education than their male counterparts.
Women are more educated than men across the United States, the U.S. Census Bureau reported, and that trend is especially pronounced in Alaska, Mississippi and North Dakota when it comes to those who earn bachelor’s degrees.
On the other hand, the Census reported that men were more likely to have a bachelor’s degree in states like Utah, Idaho and Washington.
Single Adults in the U.S.
“All the single ladies” should consider moving to Arizona or California, because single men outnumber single women in those states, as this map, originally published by City Lab, shows.
The so-called “I-95 Corridor” turns out to be bad news for women seeking a mate, with the graphic showing populous spots like Philadelphia, Boston and New York are all overstocked with women. Consider a move out southwest, ladies.
Who in the U.S. Has Health Insurance
Health care coverage is one of America’s most difficult problems to solve, as it remains incredibly complicated. Across the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more working-age men than women are uninsured.
Somewhat surprisingly, there are more uninsured men than women in urban areas compared to more rural counties, the study’s authors found.
The Zebra published a report that showed women actually pay more for car insurance than men in half of the states. The biggest problem was Nevada where, in 2018 alone, the average woman paid $121 more than the average man for car insurance.
The study’s authors said it’s too soon to draw firm conclusions about why this is so, but states such as California, Montana and North Carolina have already banned gender-based insurance pricing.
American Heart Attacks
Vermont Business Magazine reports that there are great disparities geographically in the United States where it comes to the prevalence of heart attacks in men versus women.
In Ohio and Kentucky, women are three times more likely to have a heart attack as opposed to those living in Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming. The study also found that while heart disease is more prevalent for men, it tends to be deadlier for women.
Life Expectancy in the U.S.
While women tend to live longer than men across every U.S. state, that percentage difference between men and women gets larger in states throughout the southeast, as this map from NetQuote shows.
The state where the percentage difference is the smallest? Montana.
Human Development Index in the United States
“Human development index” (HDI) measures how the “life expectancy at birth serves as a proxy for the capability to live a long and healthy life,” according to MeasureofAmerica.org. In 2005, the HDI was most impressive in Connecticut, and the bottom scorer was Mississippi.
But by 2016, the big winner was Washington, D.C., with nearby West Virginia falling to the bottom of the pack on quality of life.
We tend to think of obesity as an “American problem,” but thanks to McDonald’s and the fast-food diet being exported overseas, Europe is now seeing more than its fair share of weight-related health issues, too.
This map shows that obesity is up across Europe, with more Scandivanivan men than women being classified as overweight (in blue). In much of Central Europe and Turkey, the trend was the opposite, with more women than men falling into the obese category (in purple).
Unemployment in Europe
The European debt crisis wreaked havoc on so many people’s financial fortunes, but the picture becomes somewhat murkier when it comes to more recent unemployment statistics.
The European Parliamentary Research Service said that more men than women found themselves unemployed in the wake of the crisis, largely due to layoffs in male-oriented jobs like construction and manufacturing.
Young Adult European Population
It seems that the farther north you go in Europe, the greater the disparity in the population of men and women in their prime reproductive years.
This map shows that there are more men than women within this demographic in Scandinavia; the difference is much less pronounced as you travel southward toward the Mediterranean.
While this map is obviously more geared towards women, there's likely a reason for that: because men don't have an issue with mobility.
This shows the areas where women either have more or less of an opportunity to move in public spaces without harassment. Clearly, women in the Middle East and parts of Africa have less freedom to do so.