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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Emery Guertin (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 much longer than men today and how has this advantage increased over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, افضل شامبو وبلسم biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; However, we're not sure what the contribution of each one of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? 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. As you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line - this means that in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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In the richer countries, the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at the time of birth in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very modest, but it grew substantially in the past century.

By selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, check that these two points are applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.