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Why do women live longer than men?

Gretta Draper (2022-04-18)


123-18-678x405.jpgEverywhere 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 have a longer life span than men? Why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we have only incomplete solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, زيوت تطويل الشعر but we don't know exactly how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. 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 all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in America live longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was once extremely small but it has risen significantly in the past.

When you click on the option "Change country from the chart, you can verify that these two points also apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.