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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 is the reason women live much longer than men today and why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is limited and we're only able to provide incomplete solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, However, we're not sure how strong the relative contribution of each factor is.

32455078503_f790d6a32f.jpgIn spite of the precise amount of weight, we are aware that at least a portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present however not as in the past, is to relate to the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues that are more intricate. 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. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

This chart shows that, even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women was not as great.
We will now examine how the advantage of women in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

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

The gap is increasing: تحاميل مهبلية While the advantage of women in life expectancy was once quite small, it has increased substantially with time.

You can check if the points you've listed are applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.