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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 main reason women live longer than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which play a significant role in women who live longer than men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the amount of weight, زيوت تطويل الشعر we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live longer than men in the present, but not in the past, is to do with the fact that a number of fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart shows that, even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is only half a year.

In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live a lot, 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 growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once very small, it has increased substantially over time.

1-57.jpgUsing the option 'Change country' on the chart, you can determine if these two points also apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.