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Why women are more likely to 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 more than men do today and how have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. We know there are biological, psychological and environmental factors which all play a part in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure how much each factor contributes.

We know that women live longer than males, افضل كريم للشعر regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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. It is clear that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her brother.

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

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The advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries than it is today.
Let's look at how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two distinct points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

You can check if these are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.