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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 is the reason women live longer than men in the present and why has this advantage increased in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't strong enough to make an unambiguous conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure how significant the impact of each factor is.

In spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men do today, but not in the past, is to do with the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues 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. We can see that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can expect to live longer than her older brother.

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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

First, there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US are living much, افضل كريم للشعر much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once tiny however, it has grown significantly in the past.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and افضل كريم للشعر Sweden.