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Why women are more likely to 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. What's the reason women live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown over time? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only some solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; However, we're not sure what the contribution to each of these variables is.

We have learned that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. However, this is not because of certain biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line - it means that in all nations that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a new boy.1

It is interesting to note that the advantage of women exists across all countries, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

The advantage for women in life expectancy was less in rich countries as compared to the present.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in America live longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in terms of life expectancy was tiny, it has increased substantially over time.

If you select the option "Change country by country' in the chart, confirm that the two points also apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.