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Why do women live longer than men?

Lona Talbott (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 is the reason women live longer than men? And why has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? The evidence is limited and we're only able to provide some solutions. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological and تحاميل مهبلية ( environmental variables which play a significant role in the longevity of women over males, we aren't sure how much each factor contributes.

We have learned that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But, this is not because of certain biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. 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.

5 years agoEverywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. As you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.

In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller
Let's now look at how the advantage of women in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live a lot, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was extremely small It has significantly increased over time.

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