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Why do women live longer than men?

Jetta Tedesco (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 longer than men and اوضاع الجماع why is this difference growing over time? The evidence is sketchy and we're left with only limited answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, but we don't know exactly how significant the impact of each one of these factors is.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and اوضاع الجماع relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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. It is clear that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can expect to live longer than her brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller
Let's now look at how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at the time of birth in the US from 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US live a lot, 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 widening: While the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be quite small but it has risen significantly with time.

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