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Why do women live longer than men?

Oliva Pease (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 more than men do today and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? The evidence is sketchy and we're only able to provide incomplete solutions. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; However, we're not sure how significant the impact of each one of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 women. We can see that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her brothers.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists in all countries, global differences are significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart plots the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

ما_حكم_صبغ_الشعر_باللوSecond, ابر التخسيس the gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was quite small It has significantly increased with time.

You can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and ابر التخسيس Sweden.