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Why do women live longer than men?

Calvin Cleburne (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 live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we're left with only limited solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

We are aware that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But it is not due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. 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 تحاميل مهبلية women. We can see that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that while the female advantage exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was less in rich countries than it is today.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men living in America are living longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once very small, it has increased substantially in the past.

By selecting 'Change Country from the chart, you are able to confirm that the two points also apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.