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Why do women live longer than men?

Vilma Santora (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 and how have these advantages gotten bigger over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, However, we're not sure what the contribution of each factor is.

We know that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. But it is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, ended up raising women's longevity disproportionately.

screen-4.jpg?fakeurl=1&type=.jpgEverywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and تحاميل مهبلية women. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half an hour.

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The advantage for women in life expectancy was less in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in America live longer than they used to 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 tiny but it has risen significantly with time.

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