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Why do women live longer than men?

Cathryn Richter (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. Why do women live so longer than men in the present, and why has this advantage increased over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an informed conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, but we don't know exactly how significant the impact to each of these variables is.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men today but not previously, has to have to do with the fact that some 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. Other 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, افضل شامبو وبلسم especially for افضل شامبو وبلسم 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 implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in rich 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 male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US are living much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was very small It has significantly increased over time.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you are able to confirm that the two points are also applicable to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.