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Why do women live longer than men?

Hassie Blaze (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 are more likely to live longer than men? And why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is limited and we only have partial answers. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure how significant the impact of each factor is.

In spite of how much number of pounds, we know that a large portion of the reason women live longer than men today but not previously, has to do with the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. 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. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

First, صبغ الشعر بالاسود there is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live 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 growing: صبغ الشعر بالاسود Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has grown significantly with time.

Using the option 'Change country in the chart, you can check that these two points are applicable to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.