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Why do women live longer than men?

Nam Mawson (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 longer than men in the present, and why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we're left with only limited solutions. We know there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors that all play a role in women living longer than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men but not in the past, has to be due to the fact that some significant non-biological elements have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for افضل كريم للشعر men and women. We can see that every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can expect to live longer than her younger brother.

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

The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries than it is today.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the time of birth in the US from 1790-2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live much, much 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 a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

You can verify that these are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.