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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. Why do women live much longer than men today and how has this advantage increased in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only incomplete answers. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure how strong the relative contribution to each of these variables is.

Independently of the exact number of pounds, we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live longer than men but not previously, is to relate to the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 , this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women exists in all countries, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes that it is today.
Let's look at how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they were 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 female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it has risen significantly over time.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام, https://glorynote.com, and Sweden.لانجرى نكهات فراشة