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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 is the reason women live more than men do today and why does this benefit increase over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an informed 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 what percentage each factor plays in.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't 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. Others are more complicated. For ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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 you can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - which means that in every country a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.

In rich countries the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two areas stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be very modest however, it has increased significantly in the past century.

1 year agoBy selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, you can verify that these two points also apply to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.