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Why are women living longer than men?

Cathryn Richter (2022-04-15)


Everywhere in the world women live longer than men - but this was not always the case. The available data from rich countries shows that women didn't live longer than men in the 19th century. What's the reason why women are more likely to live longer than men? Why is this difference growing as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only partial answers. We recognize that biological, افضل شامبو وبلسم behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, However, we're not sure how much the influence of each of these factors is.

In spite of how much weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason women live so much longer than men but not previously, is to be due to the fact that a number of key non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complex. For example, there is evidence that in rich countries the female advantage increased in part because infectious diseases used to affect women disproportionately a century ago, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, ended up raising women's longevity disproportionately.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line - this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, while in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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In rich countries the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's now look at how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small, but it grew substantially in the past century.

y.jpgIf you select the option "Change country from the chart, you can determine if these two points are also applicable to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.