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Why are women living longer than men?

Lora Helm (2022-04-21)


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 have a longer life span than men? And why does this benefit increase as time passes? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're only able to provide partial answers. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors which play a significant role in women who live longer than men, we do not know how much each one contributes.

Independently of the exact amount, we can say that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men today and not in the past, has to be due to the fact that a number of fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These factors 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 - this means that in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half each year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the gender-based and كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US live much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be tiny It has significantly increased over time.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.