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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Yvette Bock (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. Why do women live so longer than men in the present, and why is this difference growing over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an unambiguous conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we do not know how much the influence of each of these factors is.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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.

4 years agoEverywhere 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, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This graph shows that even though women enjoy an advantage everywhere, cross-country differences are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

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The advantage for women in life expectancy was less in developed countries than it is now.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows men and علامات الحمل بولد women's life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in America live longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small, it has increased substantially with time.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and علامات الحمل بولد Sweden.