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Why do women live longer 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 is the reason women live longer than men? And why is this difference growing as time passes? The evidence is limited and we're left with only partial solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure how significant the impact of each one of these factors is.

9 months agoIn spite of the precise amount of weight, we are aware that at least a portion of the reason women live longer than men do today however not as previously, has to have to do with the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. 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, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , it means that in all nations that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

The female advantage in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries than it is today.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart compares the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both men 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.

The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was once very small however, it has grown significantly with time.

You can check if these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.