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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Leandro Tilton (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 does this benefit increase over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we only have some answers. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know what the contribution to each of these variables is.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this isn't because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, 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 every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her older brother.

Interestingly, علامات الحمل بولد this chart shows that the advantage of women exists in all countries, difference between countries is huge. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
We will now examine how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US over the period 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 a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: علامات الحمل بولد Although the female advantage in life expectancy used to be tiny It has significantly increased over time.

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