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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. What makes women live longer than men and how is this difference growing over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're only able to provide incomplete solutions. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in women living longer than men, we don't know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of the amount, we can say that at least part of the reason women live so much longer than men in the present, but not in the past, has to do with the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other are more complicated. 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 كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام ( women. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes than it is now.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the time of birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

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