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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Tyrell Heady (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 much longer than men today and how is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we have only partial answers. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors which all play a part in women who live longer than males, it isn't clear how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men in the present but not in the past, is to have to do with the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. For ابر التخسيس 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 every country is above the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.

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The advantage for women in life expectancy was less in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's look at the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be extremely small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country from the chart, you are able to check that these two points are also applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.50365766432_ca9934c40b.jpg