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Why are women living 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 makes women live much longer than men today and how is this difference growing in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're only able to provide partial answers. We know there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables which play a significant role in the longevity of women over men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this is not because of certain 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. 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, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور 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. It is clear that every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the gap is only half a year.

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In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

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

There is a widening gap: كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small, but it grew substantially in the past century.

When you click on the option "Change country from the chart, you can verify that these two points apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.