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Why do women live longer than men?

Alba Cape (2022-04-18)

2 years agoEverywhere 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. Why do women live so more than men do today and why does this benefit increase over time? There is only limited evidence and ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور the evidence is not sufficient to support an absolute conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know how significant the impact of each factor is.

We are aware that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. But this isn't due to the fact that certain 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. 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. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

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

In rich countries the longevity advantage for women was smaller
We will now examine how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Both men and 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.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was extremely small but it has risen significantly over time.

It is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.