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Why do women live longer than men?

Sienna Wunderly (2022-04-18)


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 why women live longer than men? Why has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an informed conclusion. We know there are behavioral, biological as well as environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than men, we don't know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of the amount of weight, we are aware that at least part of the reason women live longer than men today and not previously, is to be due to the fact that some fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and علامات الحمل بولد relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain are more complicated. 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 diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

This chart illustrates that, while there is a female advantage everywhere, علامات الحمل بولد cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
Let's examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The next chart compares the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in the United States live longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be extremely small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

Using the option 'Change country' on the chart, you are able to confirm that the two points are applicable to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.