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Why are women living longer than men?

Nicole Day (2022-04-19)

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. Why do women live so more than men do today, and why is this difference growing over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, but we don't know exactly how strong the relative contribution of each one of these factors is.

In spite of the precise amount, تحاميل مهبلية we can say that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men and not in the past, has to have to do with the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complex. 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 diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women exists in all countries, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the time of birth in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

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

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be extremely small but it increased substantially over the course of the last century.

If you select the option "Change country from the chart, you will be able to verify that these two points apply to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.