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Why are women living longer than men?

Vilma Santora (2022-04-20)

\u0627\u0644\u0639\u0627\u0628 \u0632\u0648\u062c\u064a\u0647 \u0648\u0639\u0637\u0648\u0631\u0627\u062a (@donia_almoda) | TwitterEverywhere 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 much longer than men today and how is this difference growing over time? There isn't much evidence and we only have partial solutions. Although we know that there are behavioral, اضيق وضعية للجماع biological, and environmental factors which all play a part in women living longer than males, it isn't clear how much each one contributes.

In spite of how much amount, we can say that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men today and not in the past, has to have to do with the fact that several significant non-biological elements have changed. These variables are evolving. 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 you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

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

Second, the gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was tiny however, it has grown significantly over time.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you are able to check that these two points are applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.