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Why are women living longer than men?

Kimberly Castleberry (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 why has this advantage increased over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral as well as environmental factors which play a significant role in the longevity of women over men, we do not know the extent to which each factor كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور plays a role.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present but not previously, is to be due to the fact that certain key 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. Certain 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 a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

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

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The advantage of women in life expectancy was less in countries with higher incomes than it is today.
Let's examine how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows male and كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور female life expectancies when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

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

Second, there's a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be very modest but it increased substantially in the past century.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you are able to confirm that the two points also apply to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.