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Why do women live longer than men?

Jetta Tedesco (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 main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown as time passes? The evidence is sketchy and we have only some answers. While we are aware that there are biological, اوضاع الجماع [] psychological as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women's longevity more than men, we do not know how much each one contributes.

In spite of the amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live longer than men in the present and not in the past, is to relate to the fact that certain key non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? 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 اوضاع الجماع women. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half a year.

In the richer countries, the longevity advantage for women was smaller
Let's now look at how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women living in America are living longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

1 year agoWhen you click on the option "Change country' on the chart, you can check that these two points are also applicable to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.