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Why do women live longer than men?

Raphael Doherty (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? And how has this advantage gotten larger in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support an informed conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we do not know how much the influence of each of these factors is.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this is not because of certain biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. For example, زيوت تطويل الشعر there is evidence that in rich countries the female advantage increased in part because infectious diseases used to affect women disproportionately a century ago, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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 every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from every country could anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

The chart above shows that while the female advantage exists in all countries, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half a year.

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The advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was lower in rich countries than it is today.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in America live longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used to be very modest but it increased substantially in the past century.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.