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Why do women live longer than men?

Randall Patterson (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 why women have a longer life span than men? And how is this difference growing in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some answers. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each factor is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But it 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. Other 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.

7 months agoEverywhere 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 above the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her brothers.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.

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In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, https://glorynote.com/%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B6%D9%84-%D9%83%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%85-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%B9%D8%B1 there is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once very small It has significantly increased in the past.

It is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.