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Why do women live longer than men?

Sienna Wunderly (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 makes women live longer than men, and why has this advantage increased in the past? There isn't much evidence and we only have limited answers. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we do not know how much the influence of each of these factors is.

In spite of the weight, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور we know that at least a portion of the reason women live longer than men today and not in the past, is to relate to the fact that some important 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. Some 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. It is clear that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can expect to live longer than her brothers.

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

The advantage of women in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries than it is now.
Let's examine how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancies at birth in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two areas stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US are living much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be very small however it increased dramatically in the past century.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور France, and Sweden.