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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. Why do women live so more than men do today, and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not strong enough to make an absolute conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure how much the influence of each one of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this isn't because of certain non-biological factors have changed. These factors 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 زيوت تطويل الشعر men and women. It is clear that every country is above the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in every country can expect to live longer than her brothers.

The chart above shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, difference between countries is huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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In countries with high incomes, the longevity advantage for women was previously smaller.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in the United States live longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be very small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

If you select the option "Change country in the chart, confirm that the two points are applicable to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.