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Why are women living longer than men?

Analisa Wingfield (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. Why do women live longer than men in the present and how is this difference growing in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, تحاميل مهبلية psychological and environmental factors that play an integral role in the longevity of women over men, we do not know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of the precise amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live longer than men in the present but not previously, is to do with the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. 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 women. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , which means that in every country a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart shows that, although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the difference is less than half an hour.

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The advantage for women in life expectancy was much lower in countries with higher incomes than it is today.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: تحاميل مهبلية Although the female advantage in life expectancy was very small It has significantly increased over time.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.1 year ago