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Why do women live longer than men?

Elijah Humphery (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 is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is limited and we're left with only some solutions. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, ابر التخسيس but we don't know exactly what the contribution of each one of these factors is.

In spite of how much weight, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present and not previously, is to relate to the fact that a number of fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others 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, every country is above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage for women in life expectancy was less in the richer countries than it is now.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. as well as women in the US are living much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

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

maxresdefault.jpgWhen you click on the option "Change country' on the chart, confirm that the two points also apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.