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Why do women live longer than men?

Merlin Dunstan (2022-04-20)


1396090112554979612574084.jpgEverywhere 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 in the present and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an absolute conclusion. We know there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that play an integral role in the longevity of women over men, علامات الحمل بولد we do not know how much each one contributes.

In spite of how much amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present and not in the past, is to have to do with the fact that certain key 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 men and women. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.

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In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living 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 growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once quite small however, it has grown significantly over time.

If you select the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you are able to verify that these two points are applicable to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.