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Why do women live longer than men?

Vilma Santora (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 main reason women have a longer life span than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger in the past? The evidence is limited and we only have some answers. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors that all play a role in women's longevity more than men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

photo_2020-03-07_10-52-08.jpgWe are aware that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not because of certain biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? 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 above the diagonal parity line - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half one year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was less in the richer countries as compared to the present.
We will now examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand افضل كريم للشعر (glorynote.com) out.

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

There is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small however it increased dramatically in the past century.

You can check if the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.