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Why women live 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. Why do women live so longer than men, and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only partial answers. We know that biological, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور ( behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know what the contribution of each factor is.

In spite of the weight, we know that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men do today, but not previously, is to be due to the fact that several key non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? 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, 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 implies that a baby girl in every country can expect to live longer than her brothers.

Interestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women exists in all countries, cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of just half a year.

In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancy at the birth in the US during the period 1790 until 2014. Two aspects stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is growing: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was once quite small It has significantly increased over time.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.