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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 is the reason women live longer than men? And why the advantage has grown as time passes? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're left with only incomplete answers. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, but we don't know exactly how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 ابر التخسيس men and women. We can see that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could expect to live longer than her brothers.

It is interesting to note that the advantage of women is present everywhere, difference between countries is huge. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in rich countries as compared to the present.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in the US live much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was once very small but it has risen significantly in the past.

It is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and ابر التخسيس Sweden.