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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Lona Fawcett (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 in the present, and why has this advantage increased over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw an absolute conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we do not know how strong the relative contribution to each of these variables is.

تاتو المنطقة الحساسة بالنكهاتIn spite of the weight, we know that at least part of the reason women live longer than men do today however not as previously, has to be due to the fact that some significant non-biological elements have changed. These factors are changing. 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, 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 every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from every country could expect to live longer than her brother.

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia, علامات الحمل بولد women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries that it is today.
We will now examine how the gender advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US during the period 1790 until 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be extremely small however it increased dramatically in the past century.

By selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, confirm that the two points are also applicable to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.