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Why do women live 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's the reason women live longer than men? What is the reason is this difference growing in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, اضيق وضعية للجماع However, we're not sure how much the influence to each of these variables is.

It is known that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues that are more intricate. 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. As you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

It is interesting to note that while the female advantage is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men, while in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

In rich countries the longevity advantage for women was smaller
We will now examine how the advantage of women in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was tiny however, it has grown significantly over time.

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