Комментарии читателей

Why do women live longer than men?

Kerri Luevano (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 how has this advantage increased over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We know there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors which play a significant role in women's longevity more than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live so much longer than men however not as in the past, has to do with the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, اضيق وضعية للجماع like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues 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. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line , which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

Ezy7lWXPQup5jOU5NvN742EsrCJzCKwZIKcFTGGd__S.17__
__S.19__
In wealthy countries, the female advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's now look at how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

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

Second, the gap is widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was once very small, it has increased substantially with time.

You can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.