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Why women live longer than men?

Jett Alvarado (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. Why do women live longer than men in the present and how is this difference growing in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're left with only incomplete answers. We know there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors which play a significant role in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure how much each factor contributes.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at a minimum, افضل كريم للشعر the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present however not as in the past, has to have to do with the fact that certain fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing 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. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line - this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

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In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart plots the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US are living much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once tiny but it has risen significantly with time.

tafsiribnukatsirmuhaqqoq001b-11011501514It is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.