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Why do women live longer than men?

Shawnee Kiley (2022-04-20)


3 years agoEverywhere 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 is the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason is this difference growing in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors which play a significant role in women who live longer than males, it isn't clear how much each one contributes.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. 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, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام 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 above the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could expect to live longer than her older brother.

This chart illustrates that, while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of just half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at the time of birth in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.