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Why do women live longer 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's the reason women live longer than men? Why is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we're only able to provide incomplete answers. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; but we don't know exactly what the contribution of each factor is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? 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 ابر التخسيس men and women. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half each year.

In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
We will now examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that 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.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it increased substantially in the past century.

If you select the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you can confirm that the two points also apply to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.