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Why do women live longer than men?

Shawnee Kiley (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 is the reason women live longer than men? And why is this difference growing over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide incomplete solutions. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological and environmental variables that all play a role in women living longer than men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

We know that women are living longer than men, العاب زوجية regardless of weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 you can see, العاب زوجية all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This graph shows that while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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In the richer countries, the longevity advantage for women was smaller
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies at the time of birth in the US between 1790 until 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

It is possible to verify that these are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.