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Why do women live longer than men?

Kristie Cranswick (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 main reason women have a longer life span than men? What is the reason is this difference growing over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide partial solutions. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that play an integral role in women who live longer than men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues that are more intricate. 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 ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور women. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less that half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes that it is today.
Let's look at how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once very small It has significantly increased with time.

By selecting 'Change Country from the chart, confirm that the two points are applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.