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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Leandro Tilton (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 makes women live longer than men in the present and how has this advantage increased over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some solutions. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men today but not in the past, is to be due to the fact that some 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. 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, 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, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia, women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.

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The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries than it is now.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies at the time of birth in the US between 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend: Men and تحاميل مهبلية 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 widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once tiny It has significantly increased over time.

By selecting 'Change Country in the chart, you will be able to confirm that the two points apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and تحاميل مهبلية the UK.