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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's the reason women have a longer life span than men? Why has this advantage gotten larger over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only partial answers. We are aware that behavioral, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know how strong the relative contribution to each of these variables is.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't because of certain 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. Other 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , it means that in all nations that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that, while the advantage for women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be very modest however it increased dramatically over the course of the last century.

51362271291_0cd220a718.jpgYou can check if these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.