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Why women live longer than men?

Tera Dupre (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 longer than men in the present 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 absolute conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental variables which play a significant role in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure how much each one contributes.

In spite of the amount of weight, افضل كريم للشعر we are aware that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men and not previously, is to have to do with the fact that certain key non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

This graph shows that even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries could be significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's now look at the way that female advantages in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was tiny however, it has grown significantly in the past.

1 year agoUsing the option 'Change country by country' in the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points are applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.