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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Ava Scutt (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 why women live longer than men? What is the reason is this difference growing as time passes? The evidence is sketchy and we're only able to provide partial answers. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

In spite of the precise amount of weight, افضل كريم للشعر we are aware that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men do today but not previously, is to do with the fact that several key non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. 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 women. As you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line - it means that in all nations a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart illustrates that, even though women enjoy an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men; in Bhutan the gap is just half one year.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in countries with higher incomes that it is today.
Let's examine the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. 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.

And second, there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest but it increased substantially during the last century.

You can check if these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, افضل كريم للشعر and Sweden.