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Why are women living longer than men?

Vilma Santora (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 much longer than men today and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological, and environmental factors that all play a role in women living longer than men, we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

We are aware that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. But this is not due to the fact that certain 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 women. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line , this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, تحاميل مهبلية the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

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In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
We will now examine how the female advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be quite small, it has increased substantially over time.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.