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Why do women live longer than men?

Cassandra Benoit (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 main reason women live longer than men? What is the reason does this benefit increase over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some solutions. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; but we don't know exactly how strong the relative contribution of each one of these factors is.

In spite of how much amount of weight, we are aware that at least a portion of the reason women live longer than men do today and not in the past, has to be due to the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, اضيق وضعية للجماع 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. We can see that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

The chart above shows that while the female advantage is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is less than half one year.

In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was smaller
We will now examine how the gender advantage in longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in America live longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be very small but it has risen significantly in the past.

You can check if the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, اضيق وضعية للجماع France, and Sweden.