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Why are women living longer than men?

Randall Patterson (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 how is this difference growing over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide partial solutions. We know there are behavioral, biological as well as environmental factors that all play a role in women who live longer than males, we aren't sure how much each one contributes.

We know that women are living longer than men, اوضاع الجماع regardless of weight. But, this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? 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. We can see that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in every country can expect to live longer than her older brother.

187448-560x315.jpgIt is interesting to note that, while the advantage for women exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female lifespans at birth in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small however it increased dramatically over the last century.

You can verify that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.