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Why do women live longer than men?

Liam Dittmer (2022-04-16)

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 the advantage has grown as time passes? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw an absolute conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological, افضل كريم للشعر and environmental factors which play a significant role in women's longevity more than males, it isn't clear how much each one contributes.

32455078503_f790d6a32f.jpgIt is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But this is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others 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 women. It is clear that every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that, while the advantage for women exists everywhere, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less that half a year.

In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart compares the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

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

The gap is increasing: While the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was very small, it has increased substantially in the past.

Using the option 'Change country in the chart, you will be able to verify that these two points are applicable to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.