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Why do women live longer than men?

Leandro Tilton (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 much longer than men today and how have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? The evidence is limited and we're left with only limited answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know how much the influence of each of these factors is.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present but not previously, has to have to do with the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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. It is clear that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can expect to live longer than her brothers.

This graph shows that even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

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The advantage of women in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries than it is today.
Let's now look at how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US between 1790 and افضل شامبو وبلسم 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. and women in the US live much, افضل شامبو وبلسم much longer than they did a century 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 terms of life expectancy was extremely small however, it has grown significantly over time.

tafsiribnukatsirmuhaqqoq001-110113010227It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.