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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Shawnee Kiley (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 is the reason women live longer than men in the present, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام -, and why is this difference growing over time? There isn't much evidence and we only have incomplete solutions. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that all play a role in women's longevity more than men, we don't know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, 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 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is less that half a year.

In countries with high incomes, the longevity advantage for women was not as great.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both 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.

There is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country from the chart, you will be able to check that these two points also apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.