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Why are women living longer than men?

Winfred Paling (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 live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an absolute conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than men, we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

Independently of the exact amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men, but not in the past, has to have to do with the fact that a number of significant non-biological elements 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, 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 صبغ الشعر بالاسود 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 parity line - this means that in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in rich countries as compared to the present.
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 at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, صبغ الشعر بالاسود there is an upward trend. and women in the US live a lot, much 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 advantage of women in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it has risen significantly over time.

If you select the option "Change country in the chart, determine if these two points apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.