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Why women live longer than men?

Vilma Santora (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 have a longer life span than men? Why the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only partial answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we do not know how much the influence of each factor is.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However it is not due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and اضيق وضعية للجماع relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This graph shows that while there is a female advantage across all countries, اضيق وضعية للجماع differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in the United States live longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small however it increased dramatically over the last century.

If you select the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you will be able to verify that these two points apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.