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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Josette Barker (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's the main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? Why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is limited and we only have limited solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know what the contribution of each of these factors is.

1 year agoIndependently of the exact weight, we know that at a minimum, صبغ الشعر بالاسود the reason women live longer than men in the present however not as in the past, has to relate to the fact that certain significant non-biological elements have changed. These are the factors that are changing. 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 صبغ الشعر بالاسود 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. It is clear that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can expect to live longer than her brother.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less that half a year.

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

First, there's an upward trend. 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.

The gap is growing: Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it has risen significantly over time.

By selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, you are able to determine if these two points apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.