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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 are more likely to live longer than men? And why does this benefit increase in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each factor is.

In spite of the amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men do today and not in the past, is to do with the fact that some fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some 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, افضل شامبو وبلسم 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. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was much lower in developed countries as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two specific points stand out.

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

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was quite small but it has risen significantly over time.

By selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, you can check that these two points also apply to the other countries having available information: افضل شامبو وبلسم Sweden, France and the UK.