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Why do women live longer than men?

Roma Glaze (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 so much longer than men today and how does this benefit increase over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not strong enough to make an unambiguous conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we do not know what the contribution of each factor is.

Independently of the exact number of pounds, اضيق وضعية للجماع - - we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live longer than men today and not in the past, is to be due to the fact that certain significant non-biological elements have changed. These variables are evolving. 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 men and women. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; which means that in every country that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a new boy.1

2 years agoInterestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the gap is only half a year.

The advantage for women in life expectancy was less in the richer countries than it is today.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend. as well as women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was once quite small however, it has grown significantly with time.

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