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Why do women live longer than men?

Cathryn Richter (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 more than men do today and why has this advantage increased over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support an unambiguous conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know what the contribution of each factor is.

We know that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. But this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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 علامات الحمل بولد 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 علامات الحمل بولد women. We can see that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

This graph shows that while there is a female advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half an hour.

In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US in the years 1790-2014. Two distinct points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small, it has increased substantially with time.

It is possible to verify that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.