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Why are women living 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's the reason why women live longer than men? Why the advantage has grown as time passes? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're only able to provide limited answers. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors which play a significant role in the longevity of women over males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. For example, اوضاع الجماع 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 you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line - this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists in all countries, difference between countries is huge. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.

The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in rich countries than it is now.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790-2014. Two areas stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US live a lot, اوضاع الجماع much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used to be very modest, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

If you select the option "Change country from the chart, you can confirm that the two points are applicable to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.