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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Merlin Dunstan (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 why women live longer than men? Why the advantage has grown as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we only have limited solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure how much the influence of each factor is.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't because of certain biological or 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. Certain are more complicated. For اوضاع الجماع 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 line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her brother.

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men, while in Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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The advantage of women in life expectancy was much lower in developed countries that it is today.
We will now examine the way that female advantages in longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two things stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an increase in the gap between men and اوضاع الجماع women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest but it increased substantially over the last century.

lose-weight.jpgIt is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.