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Why are women living longer than men?

Lona Fawcett (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 have a longer life span than men? And why does this benefit increase as time passes? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an informed conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than men, we do not know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of how much number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men, but not in the past, is to do with the fact that a number of significant non-biological elements have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, علامات الحمل بولد like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. 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 علامات الحمل بولد 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 in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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In rich countries the women's advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

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

Second, there's an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small however it increased dramatically over the last century.

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