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Why do women live longer than men?

Wilford Tufnell (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 main reason women live longer than men? What is the reason is this difference growing over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an unambiguous conclusion. We know there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors which all play a part in women who live longer than men, we don't know the extent to which each factor تحاميل مهبلية plays a role.

We are aware that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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, تحاميل مهبلية so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, ended up raising women's longevity disproportionately.

32455078503_f790d6a32f.jpgEverywhere 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 line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

The advantage of women in life expectancy was less in rich countries than it is today.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend: Men and women in the US live much, much 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 widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be quite small however, it has grown significantly in the past.

By selecting 'Change Country by country' in the chart, you are able to check that these two points apply to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.