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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 longer than men in the present and how has this advantage increased over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't strong enough to make an absolute conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women living longer than men, اوضاع الجماع we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

We are aware that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However this is not due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some 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. We can see that every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from any country can expect to live longer than her younger brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

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

Second, there's an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used to be very modest, but it grew substantially during the last century.

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