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Why are women living 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. Why do women live longer than men, and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental variables that play an integral role in women's longevity more than men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason women live so much longer than men in the present however not as in the past, has to have to do with the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and افضل شامبو وبلسم relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. For افضل شامبو وبلسم 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. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan, the difference is just half a year.

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The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries than it is now.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they were 100 years 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 life expectancy was quite small It has significantly increased over time.

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