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Why do women live longer than men?

Shana Yabsley (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 much longer than men today and why does this benefit increase in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence isn't strong enough to make an informed conclusion. We know there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that play an integral role in the longevity of women over men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

32455078503_f790d6a32f.jpgIn spite of the precise weight, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men today but not previously, ابر التخسيس has to be due to the fact that several 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. There are other issues that are more intricate. For example, ابر التخسيس 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. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's look at the way that female advantages in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in the United States live 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 advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was quite small It has significantly increased in the past.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.