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Why do women live longer than men?

Lilliana Kobayashi (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 main reason women live longer than men? And how does this benefit increase in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; however, علامات الحمل بولد we do not know how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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 in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart shows that, while there is a female advantage throughout the world, علامات الحمل بولد the differences between countries could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

In rich countries the longevity advantage for women was smaller
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very small however, it has increased significantly over the last century.

You can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.