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Why are women living longer than men?

Marcos Flannery (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 the advantage has grown in the past? The evidence is limited and we're left with only incomplete answers. We know there are biological, psychological, and environmental factors which all play a part in women's longevity more than men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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 زيوت تطويل الشعر men and women. We can see that every country is 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

The chart above shows that while the female advantage exists across all countries, the difference between countries is huge. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was less in the richer countries that it is today.
Let's look at the way that female advantages in terms of longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be extremely small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

You can check if these principles are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.\u0645\u0644\u0641:\u0642\u0648\u0627\u0639\u062f \u0627\u0644\u0634\u0639\u0631 \u0644\u062b\u0639\u0644\u0628 \u062e.pdf - \u0648\u064a\u0643\u064a \u0645\u0635\u062f\u0631