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Why do women have longer lives 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 makes women live longer than men and how has this advantage increased over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, زيادة استماعات ساوند كلاود we do not know how much the influence of each one of these factors is.

In spite of the number of pounds, we know that at least part of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present and not previously, has to do with the fact that several important non-biological aspects 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that while the female advantage exists across all countries, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of just half a year.

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In rich countries the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancy at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be extremely small however it increased dramatically during the last century.

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