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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Shawnee Kiley (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? What is the reason does this benefit increase as time passes? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each factor is.

In spite of the weight, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present but not previously, is to have to do with the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and تحاميل مهبلية relatively straightforward, تحاميل مهبلية 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 a newborn girl in every country can expect to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

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The advantage of women in life expectancy was smaller in developed countries than it is today.
Let's look at how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

There is an upward trend. as well as women in the US are living much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be very small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

You can check if these points are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.