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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Aurora Salter (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 reason why women have a longer life span than men? What is the reason does this benefit increase as time passes? The evidence is sketchy and we only have limited answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, but we don't know exactly how much the influence to each of these variables is.

In spite of the number of pounds, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live longer than men today however not as previously, has to do with the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a new boy.1

1 year agoThis chart shows that, while there is a female advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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In rich countries the women's advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's now look at how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men as well as 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.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once extremely small, it has increased substantially with time.

You can check if these are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام Sweden.