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Why are women living longer than men?

Gregorio Masters (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? And why the advantage has grown as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide partial answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure how significant the impact to each of these variables is.

In spite of how much number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men today, but not previously, has to relate to the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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 above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can expect to live longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that while the female advantage exists in all countries, difference between countries is huge. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the difference is less than half a calendar year.

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In countries with high incomes, the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small however it increased dramatically over the last century.

If you select the option "Change country in the chart, you are able to determine if these two points are applicable to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.