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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Jett Alvarado (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 is the reason women have a longer life span than men? And why is this difference growing as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we have only partial solutions. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, صبغ الشعر بالاسود however, we do not know how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

It is known that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-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 complex. 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 صبغ الشعر بالاسود women. We can see that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage everywhere, cross-country differences are often significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men, while in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

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The advantage for women in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

511.pngThe first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women living in America are living longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be very modest but it increased substantially in the past century.

By selecting 'Change Country by country' in the chart, you can confirm that the two points are applicable to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.