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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Lona Talbott (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 more than men do today and how is this difference growing in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we only have incomplete solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; However, we're not sure how much the influence of each of these factors is.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men do today and not in the past, is to relate to the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors 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 زيوت تطويل الشعر 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 زيوت تطويل الشعر women. It is clear that all countries are above the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her brother.

This chart illustrates that, even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half one year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be extremely small however, it has increased significantly over the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, check that these two points are also applicable to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.