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Why do women live longer than men?

Yvette Bock (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 much longer than men today and العاب زوجية why does this benefit increase over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that play an integral role in the longevity of women over males, we aren't sure how much each factor contributes.

We have learned that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not because of certain non-biological aspects 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 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.

1.jpgEverywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. We can see that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's now look at how the female advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots the male and female lifespans at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there is an upward trend: Men 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.

The gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was very small but it has risen significantly with time.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.