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Why women live longer 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 is the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence is limited and we have only partial answers. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, However, we're not sure what the contribution to each of these variables is.

In spite of the number of pounds, we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live longer than men, but not in the past, has 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. There are others 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, تحاميل مهبلية 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 - which means that in every country that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart shows that, while there is a female advantage in all countries, the differences across countries are often significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

The female advantage in life expectancy was less in the richer countries than it is now.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancies at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand out.

1 year agoThere is an upward trend. Men as well as 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: female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small, تحاميل مهبلية but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country by country' in the chart, you are able to check that these two points apply to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.