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Why do women live longer than men?

Cassandra Benoit (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 have a longer life span than men? And why has this advantage gotten larger in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide partial answers. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental variables which all play a part in women who live longer than men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

In spite of how much amount of weight, ابر التخسيس we are aware that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men do today but not in the past, has to be due to the fact that some significant non-biological elements 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.

sketch1622690924699.pngEverywhere 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, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.

In rich countries the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
We will now examine how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two areas stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men 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 widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was tiny, it has increased substantially in the past.

Using the option 'Change country' on the chart, ابر التخسيس you are able to determine if these two points also apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.