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Why do women live longer than men?

Roma Glaze (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. What is the reason women live longer than men in the present and how is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is limited and we have only some solutions. We know there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that all play a role in women who live longer than males, we aren't sure how much each one contributes.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complex. For تحاميل مهبلية 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 parity line - this means in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new boy.1

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

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The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US between 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they did 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: تحاميل مهبلية female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it increased substantially during the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you will be able to check that these two points are applicable to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.