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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Jetta Tedesco (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 much longer than men today, and why has this advantage increased in the past? We only have a few clues and اوضاع الجماع the evidence isn't sufficient to support an unambiguous conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this isn't because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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 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 parity line , which means that in every country a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men. In Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

In the richer countries, the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men living in America are living longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small however it increased dramatically during the last century.

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