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Why are women living longer than men?

Lilliana Kobayashi (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 reason women live longer than men? What is the reason 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 factors that all play a role in women who live longer than males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of the amount, we can say that at least a portion of the reason women live longer than men in the present however not as previously, اوضاع الجماع is to be due to the fact that a number of key non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. 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 you can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

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

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In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
We will now examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. and 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.

And second, there is a widening gap: اوضاع الجماع The female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

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