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Why women live longer than men?

Suzette FitzRoy (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's the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? And how the advantage has grown over time? There isn't much evidence and we only have limited answers. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we aren't sure how much the influence to each of these variables is.

5 years agoWe are aware that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However this isn't because of certain biological or 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. Some 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 over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is only half a year.

The advantage for women in life expectancy was much lower in rich countries than it is now.
We will now examine how the gender advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

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

There is an increase in the gap between men and women: افضل كريم للشعر female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest, افضل كريم للشعر but it grew substantially during the last century.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.