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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Hassie Blaze (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. Why do women live so more than men do today and why has this advantage increased in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables which play a significant role in women who live longer than males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

It is known that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain are more complicated. For ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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 ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور men and women. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

4 years agoThe chart below shows that although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half each year.

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In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the time of birth in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both 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.

The second is that there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it increased substantially during the last century.

If you select the option "Change country' on the chart, you are able to verify that these two points also apply to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.