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Why women live longer than men?

Sabine Biaggini (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? Why is this difference growing in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological and environmental variables that all play a role in women who live longer than men, we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men today but not previously, has to be due to the fact that several 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. Certain 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 parity line ; this means in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

It is interesting to note that the advantage of women exists across all countries, the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live for كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

In rich countries the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's examine the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US are living much, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was tiny, it has increased substantially over time.

When you click on the option "Change country' on the chart, you will be able to check that these two points also apply to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the