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Why women live longer than men?

Wendy Coy (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 why has this advantage increased over time? The evidence is sketchy and we're only able to provide incomplete answers. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors that all play a role in women's longevity more than males, it isn't clear how much each one contributes.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. For افضل كريم للشعر 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, افضل كريم للشعر 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 , it means that in all nations baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

It is interesting to note that, while the advantage for women exists in all countries, cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is less than half a calendar year.

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In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity used to be smaller
We will now examine how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in the United States live longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is growing: Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small however, it has grown significantly over time.

If you select the option "Change country in the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points also apply to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.