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Why do women live longer than men?

Roma Glaze (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's the main reason women live longer than men? What is the reason does this benefit increase over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors which play a significant role in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure how much each one contributes.

We have learned that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. But this isn't due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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 علامات الحمل بولد women. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line - this means in all countries baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This graph shows that even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men, while in Bhutan the difference is just half an hour.

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In rich countries the longevity advantage for women was not as great.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at the birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an ever-widening gap: علامات الحمل بولد female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be quite small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

tafsiribnukatsirmuhaqqoq001b-11011501514If you select the option "Change country' on the chart, you can determine if these two points are also applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.