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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 longer than men, and why has this advantage increased over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women who live longer than men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام 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 every country is above the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan, the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in countries with higher incomes that it is today.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام Sweden.