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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Glinda Witt (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 women live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? There is only limited evidence and افضل شامبو وبلسم the evidence isn't sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that all play a role in the longevity of women over males, we aren't sure what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the precise amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men do today, but not in the past, has to relate to the fact that some 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. Other 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. It is clear that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her brothers.

It is interesting to note that although the female advantage is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the gap is less than half each year.

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In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity was not as great.
We will now examine the way that female advantages in longevity has changed with time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in the United States live longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small but it increased substantially during the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country by country' in the chart, you can verify that these two points also apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.