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Why are women living longer than men?

Ava Scutt (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 have a longer life span than men? Why does this benefit increase in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral 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 factor is.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. However this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complicated. For example, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور 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 line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for longer than her brothers.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in rich countries than it is now.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies at the time of birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small, but it grew substantially in the past century.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.