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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Mellissa Rodman (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 main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? Why does this benefit increase over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only limited solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure what the contribution of each of these factors is.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But, this is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? 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 افضل كريم للشعر women. We can see that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

This graph shows that while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. as well as 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 getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was very small It has significantly increased in the past.

You can verify that these points are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.