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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. Why do women live so more than men do today, and why has this advantage increased over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to reach an absolute conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure how much the influence of each factor is.

In spite of how much number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live longer than men today however not as previously, is to relate to the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other are more complicated. 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, all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage everywhere, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half an hour.

The advantage of women in life expectancy was less in rich countries than it is today.
Let's examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

5 months agoThere is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living 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 widening: While the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was quite small however, it has grown significantly over time.

You can check if these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.