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Why do women live longer 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's the reason women have a longer life span than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we only have incomplete solutions. We know there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in women's longevity more than males, it isn't clear how much each factor صبغ الشعر بالاسود contributes.

In spite of how much number of pounds, we know that at least part of the reason women live so much longer than men however not as previously, has to have to do with the fact that a number of key non-biological factors 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 other issues 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 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 all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.

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In wealthy countries, the female advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

3 years agoFirst, there's an upward trend. Both men as well as 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.

And second, there is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small but it increased substantially over the course of the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, determine if these two points are also applicable to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.