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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's the reason why women have a longer life span than men? What is the reason is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we're left with only limited solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present however not as previously, is to be due to the fact that some fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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.

1 year agoEverywhere 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, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that while the female advantage exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

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In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
We will now examine the way that female advantages in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand زيوت تطويل الشعر out.

There is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be extremely small, زيوت تطويل الشعر it has increased substantially with time.

By selecting 'Change Country by country' in the chart, you will be able to check that these two points also apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.