I'm taking a Data Analysis class where we go over some data samples. Today we went over the world population data from 1950 to 2015.

We noticed that the proportion of females to males was the highest in Eastern European countries. Our professor couldn't explain why. The statistics below:

Table of statistics showing year and gender ratio by country

What could be the reason for this? My guess is a combination of many men having died in WWII and emigration possibly.

  • 1
    My SWAG prior to research would be that it has to do with emmigration.
    – T.E.D.
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:00
  • 1
    For 1950, WW2 has impact on Eastern Europe, but note that Niger and Barbados are on that list also. Emigration for jobs from poorer countries is predominantly young males. For 2010, perhaps mostly job-seekers emigrating.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:36
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    For 1950, the top 6 were all part of the Soviet Union, then. Likewise, for 2015 the top 7 were all part of the former Soviet Union. These were all greatly affected by Stalinist purges & losses during WW2. As a long shot, there may be an element of the use of liquidators during the Chernobyl crisis in 1986.
    – Fred
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:47
  • 10
    Some of those countries also have huge disparities of life expectancies at birth for men and women. For example (2019): Russia, male = 68.24 years, female = 78.17 years. Ukraine, male = 66.92 years female = 77 years Jun 16, 2021 at 18:58
  • 3
    As noted by Carlos, many of those countries have the largest male/female differences in life expectancy. This is in large part due to very heavy drinking by the males. In addition to the well-known health problems that can cause, alcohol is also a carcinogen. Bottom line: Vodka.
    – C Monsour
    Jun 16, 2021 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


War, an aging population, and alcohol. From an article from Pew Research:

This region has been predominantly female since at least World War II, when many Soviet men died in battle or left the country to fight. In 1950, there were just 76.6 men per 100 women in the territory that is now Russia. That number rose steadily in subsequent decades, climbing to 88.4 by 1995 before declining again.


The population in Russia and the former USSR as a whole is older than that of the world. Most of these nations, including the most populous, also have low fertility rates compared with the global average. This skews the population’s gender ratio because older people are more likely to be female, while more younger people are male.


Alcoholism has long been a problem in the former USSR, especially for young men. A 2014 study in The Lancet medical journal found evidence that excess vodka use is a top killer in Russia, responsible for a disproportionate amount of deaths among Russian men.


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