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Why are women living longer than men?

Sabine Biaggini (2022-04-20)


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 makes women live more than men do today and why does this benefit increase over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support an unambiguous conclusion. We know there are biological, behavioral, and افضل كريم للشعر environmental factors which play a significant role in women's longevity more than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason women live longer than men in the present however not as in the past, is to do with the fact that a number of key 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. 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 above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

This chart shows that, although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan, the difference is less than half a calendar year.

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In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and افضل كريم للشعر 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest however it increased dramatically during the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country' on the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points are applicable to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.