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Why do 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. What is the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? And how does this benefit increase as time passes? The evidence is limited and we're only able to provide limited answers. We know there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables that play an integral role in women living longer than men, we do not know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of how much amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men today, but not in the past, is to be due to the fact that certain 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. Some 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 we can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart compares the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Men and اوضاع الجماع women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was tiny It has significantly increased with time.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.