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Why do women live longer than men?

Anthony Lovejoy (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 longer than men in the present and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? The evidence is limited and we're only able to provide partial answers. Although we know that there are biological, ابر التخسيس psychological and environmental variables that play an integral role in women who live longer than men, we do not know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of how much amount of weight, we are aware that at least part of the reason women live longer than men, but not previously, is to do with the fact that certain key 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. 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, 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 line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her brothers.

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in rich countries than it is now.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live much, much longer than they did 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 terms of life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has increased significantly over the last century.

If you select the option "Change country' on the chart, check that these two points apply to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.