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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Marcus McMahon (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. Why do women live so longer than men in the present, and why has this advantage increased over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; but we don't know exactly how much the influence to each of these variables is.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men, but not in the past, is to be due to the fact that certain key 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 women. It is clear that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for علامات الحمل بولد women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less that half a year.

The female advantage in life expectancy was much lower in countries with higher incomes as compared to the present.
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US in the years 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they were a century 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: female advantage in life expectancy used be extremely small but it increased substantially in the past century.

You can check if the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.49814547673_de890374ab.jpg