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Why women live longer than men?

Winfred Paling (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 more than men do today and why is this difference growing in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. We recognize that biological, افضل شامبو وبلسم behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

It is known that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. But this isn't because of certain biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and افضل شامبو وبلسم 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.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; this means in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new boy.1

This chart shows that, even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was much lower in rich countries that it is today.
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was very small It has significantly increased over time.

When you click on the option "Change country from the chart, determine if these two points are also applicable to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.