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Why are women living 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 makes women live longer than men in the present and how has this advantage increased in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only limited answers. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in women living longer than men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

tafsiribnukatsirmuhaqqoq001b-11011501514In spite of how much amount of weight, we are aware that at a minimum, the reason why women live longer than men in the present, but not in the past, is to be due to the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others 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, ابر التخسيس 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 every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is less than half each year.

In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

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

And ابر التخسيس second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in 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 that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.