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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Merlin Dunstan (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 are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only incomplete solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, However, we're not sure what the contribution of each of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain are more complicated. 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. It is clear that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.

The advantage of women in life expectancy was smaller in developed countries than it is today.
We will now examine the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy when they were born in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and ابر التخسيس ( women living in America are living longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once very small but it has risen significantly with time.

You can check if these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.9b912dc17cbaa7c845b6580dbe192c08.jpg