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Why do women live longer than men?

Janet Grisham (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 longer than men in the present, and why is this difference growing over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological, and ابر التخسيس environmental factors that play an integral role in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? 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. It is clear that every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.

The advantage of women in life expectancy was smaller in developed countries than it is now.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be very modest however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

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