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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Iva Unger (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's the main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? Why does this benefit increase as time passes? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only some answers. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, but we don't know exactly how strong the relative contribution of each factor is.

In spite of the amount of weight, we are aware that at least part of the reason why women live so much longer than men and not in the past, is to be due to the fact that some significant non-biological elements have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, 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, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور especially for ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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. It is clear that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

This chart illustrates that, even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men, while in Bhutan the difference is less than half an hour.

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In countries with high incomes, the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's examine the way that female advantages in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancy at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there's an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was extremely small, it has increased substantially with time.

Using the option 'Change country' on the chart, you are able to determine if these two points also apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.