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Why do women live longer than men?

Lilliana Kobayashi (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 reason women live longer than men? And why is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we only have limited answers. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors that all play a role in women's longevity more than men, صبغ الشعر بالاسود we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that at least part of the reason women live so much longer than men but not previously, is to have to do with the fact that several key non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, صبغ الشعر بالاسود 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, 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, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - which means that in every country a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists in all countries, global differences are significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is less than half a calendar year.

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In wealthy countries, the women's advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy when they were born in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. as well as women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small, but it grew substantially over the last century.

You can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.