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Why are women living longer than men?

Mellissa Rodman (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 why women live longer than men? And how does this benefit increase over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an informed conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables which all play a part in women's longevity more than men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

We have learned that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can expect to live longer than her older brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that while the female advantage exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

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

Second, the gap is growing: زيوت تطويل الشعر Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small however, it has grown significantly with time.

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