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Why do women live longer than men?

Kimberly Castleberry (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 makes women live more than men do today and how have these advantages gotten bigger over time? The evidence is sketchy and we only have limited solutions. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know what the contribution of each factor is.

In spite of how much weight, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men do today and not in the past, is to relate to the fact that certain significant non-biological elements have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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, 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 all countries are above the diagonal parity line - this means in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.

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In rich countries the women's advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two things stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small It has significantly increased over time.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you can verify that these two points are applicable to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.wedding-night-positions.jpg?itok=tHcawVN