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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 makes women live longer than men, and why has this advantage increased in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and زيوت تطويل الشعر environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than males, it isn't clear what percentage each factor plays in.

2737.jpgIn spite of the amount, we can say that at a minimum, the reason why women live longer than men do today, but not in the past, is to do with the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. 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 we can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage of women in life expectancy was less in rich countries that it is today.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies at the time of birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women living in America are living longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was tiny It has significantly increased over time.

It is possible to verify that these are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.