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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 is the reason women live longer than men in the present, and why does this benefit increase over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an absolute conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور behavioral and environmental variables that play an integral role in women's longevity more than males, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور we aren't sure what percentage each factor plays in.

We have learned that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

In the richer countries, the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's look at how the gender advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they were 100 years 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 modest however it increased dramatically over the course of the last century.

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