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Why are women living longer than men?

Zora Proeschel (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 much longer than men today and why does this benefit increase in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an absolute conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know how much the influence of each of these factors is.

In spite of how much amount of weight, we are aware that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men in the present however not as previously, is to relate to the fact that certain fundamental 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. We can see that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her younger brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women have a longer life span than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In countries with high incomes, اضيق وضعية للجماع the longevity advantage for women was previously smaller.
Let's now look at how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. and women in the US live much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be very modest, but it grew substantially in the past century.

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