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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Wilford Tufnell (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 live longer than men? Why has this advantage gotten larger over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we're left with only partial solutions. We know there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables which all play a part in women's longevity more than males, it isn't clear how much each one contributes.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason women live longer than men but not previously, has to be due to the fact that certain fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. 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, ابر التخسيس ended up raising women's longevity disproportionately.

تتتتتتتتت.pngEverywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. It is clear that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan, the difference is less than half a calendar year.

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In wealthy countries, ابر التخسيس the longevity advantage for women was smaller
We will now examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US are living much, much longer than they did 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 advantage of women in life expectancy was once quite small but it has risen significantly with time.

It is possible to verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.