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Why women live longer than men?

Aurora Salter (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 longer than men in the present and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide partial solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors that all play a role in women's longevity more than men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that 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, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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 all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her brothers.

It is interesting to note that while the female advantage is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is less than half a calendar year.

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In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy when they were born in the US between 1790-2014. Two things stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was very small but it has risen significantly in the past.

Using the option 'Change country from the chart, you will be able to check that these two points are applicable to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.