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Why do women live longer than men?

Jetta Tedesco (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 much longer than men today and how has this advantage increased in the past? The evidence is limited and we only have incomplete answers. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and اضيق وضعية للجماع environmental variables that play an integral role in women who live longer than men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men, but not previously, is to have to do with the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? 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.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and اضيق وضعية للجماع women. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan, the difference is just half a year.

The advantage for women in life expectancy was much lower in countries with higher incomes than it is today.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancy at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women living in America are living longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be quite small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.