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Why are women living longer than men?

Merlin Dunstan (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 more than men do today and why has this advantage increased in the past? The evidence isn't conclusive and we only have some solutions. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each one of these factors is.

We are aware that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But it is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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, 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 all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, while in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes than it is today.
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small however, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور it has increased significantly in the past century.

You can verify that these principles are also applicable to other countries with data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.