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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Sabine Biaggini (2022-04-20)

وجع.PNGEverywhere 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 women live longer than men? And why is this difference growing in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and العاب زوجية the evidence is not sufficient to reach an informed conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know what the contribution of each factor is.

We are aware that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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. It is clear that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

In countries with high incomes, the longevity advantage for women was not as great.
Let's look at how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

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

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was quite small however, it has grown significantly with time.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, determine if these two points are applicable to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.