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Why women live longer than men?

Analisa Wingfield (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's the main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason does this benefit increase in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; but we don't know exactly how much the influence of each of these factors is.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? 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. It is clear that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for longer than her younger brother.

This chart illustrates that, even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, افضل شامبو وبلسم differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, while in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

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In rich countries the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's now look at how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small but it increased substantially during the last century.

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