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Why women live longer than men?

Dee Goss (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 is the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason is this difference growing in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological as well as environmental factors which all play a part in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

It is known that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. But, this is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can expect to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور the differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is only half a year.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries than it is today.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at the birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US live much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once quite small but it has risen significantly in the past.

Using the option 'Change country by country' in the chart, you can confirm that the two points apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.