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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Danny Arias (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? And how does this benefit increase in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors which all play a part in the longevity of women over men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of how much number of pounds, we know that at least part of the reason women live so much longer than men however not as in the past, is to be due to the fact that a number of significant non-biological elements have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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 you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan, العاب زوجية the difference is only half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart plots the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 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 advantage of women in life expectancy was extremely small however, it has grown significantly over time.

You can check if the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, العاب زوجية and Sweden.