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Why are women living longer than men?

Jim Larnach (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 longer than men? And why the advantage has grown over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure what percentage each factor plays in.

Independently of the exact amount of weight, we are aware that at a minimum, the reason women live so much longer than men do today however not as in the past, is to have to do with the fact that a number of fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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 parity line , which means that in every country the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half each year.

In countries with high incomes, the longevity advantage for women was not as great.
We will now examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US live much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very modest but it increased substantially during the last century.

You can verify that these are applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.